What is Metallosis?
If you have become ill and you have had a metal-on-metal hip implant or hip replacement (hip arthroplasty) or another joint replacement surgery using metal-on-metal, it may be due to metallosis.
Metallosis is a medical condition that involves metal debris building up in the soft tissue, usually around the site of a metal-on-metal implant, such as a hip replacement or knee implant. The medical devices used are often a blend of metals like chromium, nickel, titanium and cobalt.
Patients can start to have swelling, inflammation and pain around the hip area. The inflamed tissue can resemble a tumor but is actually collected fluids that may also come with a noticeable rash.
Metallosis can cause metal implants to become detached or dislocated and can lead to osteolysis, the destruction or disappearance of bone tissue. In addition, it could lead to metal flakes traveling to the bloodstream or nearby organs and causing further complications, like metal toxicity or metal poisoning. This can cause damage to tissue, bones and the nervous system.
In severe cases metallosis poisoning can lead to severe disabilities, like blindness, heart failure, nerve damage and even death. Although manufacturers are often aware of the complications, many patients are not and these devices continue to be sold and implanted.
When metallosis occurs, revision surgery may be necessary. Several manufacturers of hip replacements have recalled their devices due to widespread injuries, such as DePuy and Smith and Nephew.
Metallosis Legal Claims
If you had a hip replacement that has been recalled, or are suffering injury from a hip implant, call our Hip Replacement Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation today. We do not collect any fees unless we win your case.
We are aggressive and compassionate Hip Replacement Injury Lawyers who understand your rights and how to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve – medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.
Recalls on Hip Implants Due to Metallosis
Metal-on-metal hip replacements that cause metallosis are the fault of the manufacturer of the hip replacements, as this is product liability. Many manufacturers have settled lawsuits due to their role in the injuries created by metal-on-metal hip implants.
Manufacturers have also had to recall metal-on-metal hip replacements, like Depuy (owned by Johnson and Johnson) and the Birmingham brand from Smith and Nephew. Although the Pinnacle brand by DePuy, has not been recalled, there have been many complaints about the product, including hip pain and hip failure.
Most manufacturers no longer sell metal-on-metal hip replacements due to the complications and regulations put in place from widespread injuries. Updated technology now makes it safer to have hip implants.
Several manufacturers of faulty hip implants have been forced to pay out millions of dollars or more due to medical negligence. DePuy has settled over 8,000 lawsuits over the years for an estimated $2.5 billion.
People who suffer from suspected metallosis and who have received a metal-on-metal hip replacement or knee replacement should see a doctor immediately. Typically, a doctor will take a blood test as a first step to test for elevated levels of cobalt.
Oftentimes during the beginning stages, symptoms are minimal so a person may not even be aware they have metallosis.
Since every person with a metal-on-metal hip implant will have higher levels of cobalt in their bloodstream and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not recommended a safe level of metal ions in the blood, it may be difficult to determine based solely on a blood test. The doctor may recommend other tests, such as X-rays and MRIs. You may also inquire to your doctor about erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and a C-reactive protein test (CRP).
Unfortunately, the only proven treatment of Metallosis is to have revision surgery.
If you have any pain or symptoms and have had a hip implant using metal-on-metal replacements, see a doctor immediately. The longer a person waits to have corrective surgery, the less likely it is that revision surgery will be successful, as bones may become weak and lead to fracturing during surgery.
Corrective surgery could also include tightening ligaments and muscles.
Can You File a Legal Suit for Hip Replacement Metallosis?
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of metallosis due to a hip replacement or metal-on-metal hip implant, you should contact a hip implant attorney right away, as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
A medical device injury attorney can check to see if the brand of hip replacement has had many lawsuits and whether you may have a case against the manufacturer.
At SMT Legal, we do not charge any fees unless we win money for your case – call us today for a free case evaluation.