A hip replacement is defined as the surgical repair of an aged or injured natural hip joint by adding an artificial joint, or implant with the ultimate goal of reduced pain and increased mobility. Although there are varied designs and models of hips built by several manufacturers, implants are made from a combination of materials, including plastics, ceramics and metals. Many of the most recent devices were metal-on-metal designs, created with the hope that hip replacements would last longer to give younger, active patients more pain-free mobility for more years. Innovative companies such as DePuy and Stryker lead the orthopedic implant marketplace, and developed their own metal-on-metal implants; the Pinnacle Hip Replacement System, the ASR XL Acetabular System total hip replacement, the ASR Hip Resurfacing System and the Rejuvenate. The products were to designed to appeal to younger patients in need of hip replacement surgery as the implants provided increased flexibility and range of motion over traditional replacement devices. The durable designs were intended to alleviate the complication of device failure due to overuse, but instead studies show the design is proving to be more hazardous to patients than originally planned.
Multiple hip replacement devices have come under FDA review – numerous issuing a recall for the product while others have been discontinued.
According to several piblished articles and claims, patients suffering from hip failures that have received one of these devices may suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:
- Metal blood poisoning
- Dislocation of the implant
- Bone fracture near the implant site
- Implant loosening
- Metallosis, tissue damage from metal debris
- Hip pain, immobility