Depuy Hip Replacement Attorney
Hip replacement surgery, first performed in 1960, has given many patients back their mobility, function, and enjoyment of life. The procedure is usually safe and effective, and has a very high rate of patient satisfaction overall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that around 332,000 total hip replacements are currently performed in the United States annually. The great majority of these surgeries succeed in improving lives and allowing people to remain active and pain free well into their later years. Well over 90 percent of all hip prostheses are still functioning after ten years.
Unfortunately, a small number of hip replacement patients experience difficulties. Many of these are caused by defectively designed implants, particularly metal-on-metal prostheses. Specifically, the Depuy metal-on-metal implant has been found to be so poorly designed that it has caused significant unnecessary suffering and the need for revision surgery. As the metal ball and metal socket rub together during movement, the Depuy prosthesis wears down, releasing metal particles into the surrounding tissues and into the bloodstream.
Health Risks of the Depuy Implant
The metal particle can potentially cause painful damage to bones and soft tissues. When ions of cobalt and chromium get into the bloodstream, they can damage the heart, thyroid, and nervous system. This condition, a kind of blood poisoning known as metal toxicity or metallosis, has even been associated with genetic damage, tissue necrosis, aseptic fibrosis, cancer, as well as psychological and cognitive problems.
Manufacturer’s Duty of Care
Manufacturers of medical devices owe patients a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure their products’ safety before placing them on the market. In the case of the Dupuy prosthesis, pre-market testing was clearly inadequately performed. If you or someone close to you has suffered as a result of a Depuy hip replacement, you should consult an attorney who handles cases involving defective medical devices and has a history of obtaining substantial awards for clients. In Las Vegas, product liability attorney Eric Woods has been representing injured clients in accident and defective product legal actions for more than thirty years, and has a record of achieving high-value settlements and jury verdicts for his clients.
Signs that Your DePuy Hip Implant is Harming Your Health
If you have had a total hip replacement and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you should determine from your surgeon if a metal-on-metal prosthesis was used.
- Problems with standing and/or walking
- Hip or groin pain
- Confusion, anxiety, memory problems, depression, personality change, or other psychological difficulties or cognitive impairments
- Heart enlargement, arrhythmia, or valve disease
- Problems with vision and hearing
- Neurological problems
- Kidney failure
- Excessive fatigue
- Weight gain
- Feeling cold
DePuy Hip Replacement Recall
The manufacturer of the Depuy hip prosthesis recalled the device in 2010, admitting that one of every eight patients with the device experience complications. This estimate is likely a low one; the actual number is probably considerably higher.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued instructions to manufacturers of all metal-on-metal hip replacement systems to provide information specifying the levels of metal being released from the prostheses and the level of metal that puts the patient’s health at risk. The FDA uses the results of manufacturer testing when deciding to approve a medical device and expects manufacturers to monitor the safety of the device after placing it on the market. Unfortunately, manufacturers are oriented toward profits and are less willing to spend money on testing and monitoring than on marketing. A system that relies on a profit-oriented corporation to monitor itself adequately is clearly unrealistic, and as in the Depuy case, patients suffer.
Fortunately, victims of profit-hungry medical device manufacturers have recourse in the form of a product liability lawsuit, allowing them to claim compensation for their damages. These are difficult and complex cases and should be undertaken with the help of a personal injury attorney with specific experience going up against these powerful manufacturing corporations. In Las Vegas, Product Liability and Personal Injury Attorney Eric H. Woods has decades of experience with defective manufactured products and medical devices, and has secured millions of dollars in awards for his clients.
Claiming Compensation for Hip Replacement Damages
If you’re having problems with your hip replacement, start with a visit to your orthopedic surgeon. Your doctor should perform imaging of the hip, along with blood work to evaluate kidney, thyroid, and heart function and any indication of metal poisoning. If your prosthesis is failing and causing you pain, or if test show metal toxicity, call the law office of Las Vegas attorney Eric Woods immediately to schedule a free, no-risk legal evaluation. Irresponsible manufacturers of defective medical devices must be made to pay—for your benefit and to protect others who, in the future, could potentially fall victim to their willingness to put profits before patients. Call Eric today.