Complications, Side Effects, Recall and Pending Litigation / Lawsuits
Anyone who has gone through a hip replacement surgery has already been through quite enough. Hip replacement implants are a serious surgery that requires long recovery time and extensive physical therapy.
The surgery is most people’s last effort to reduce pain and increase mobility in their daily lives. Unfortunately, thousands of people have been forced to endure revision surgery to correct complications from faulty implants, like suffering from metallosis.
If you are suffering from a faulty hip replacement or a hip implant injury, you should be aware of your rights under the law.
Our compassionate Personal Injury Lawyers can help answer your questions and fight to get you and your family the money you deserve for your hip implant injury.
We offer free case evaluations and we never charge fees unless we win money for you.
Information on the Birmingham Hip Replacement
The Birmingham Hip Replacement, also known as the BHR, is a metal-on-metal hip implant made of cobalt and chromium metal alloys. The BHR is a hip resurfacing implant, which is used as an alternative to a full hip replacement.
The surgeon places a metal, circular, cap over the top of the femur and implants a cup-shaped metal device into the pelvis to create a ball and socket.
Complications and Side Effects
The problems with the Birmingham Hip Replacement occur when the metal components grind against each other during normal movement, thereby causing metal particles to be released into the surrounding tissues and eventually, the bloodstream. This is known as metallosis. This can cause a whole host of unwanted complications and side effects in patients. With the BHR, it seemed to affect women at a much higher rate.
In June, 2015, Smith and Nephew withdrew the BHR from the market due to a high level of failure – and seemingly disproportionately affecting female patients.
When an implant fails, each person’s body will react differently. Some people may begin feeling symptoms quickly, and thus, may minimize some of the damage or long-term effects. Others may take many years before noticing any complications, and by that time, they have extensive tissue damage or bone loss.
If you have had a BHR implant and have suffered from any symptoms or complications, you should consult a qualified hip implant attorney immediately.
Patients who have suffered complications and side effects from the Birmingham Hip Replacement implant system have complained of a wide variety of symptoms that include, but are not limited to:
- Metallosis / Metal Toxicity
- Bone loss
- Tissue necrosis
- Noise in the hip (including popping, grinding, clicking or squeaking)
- A change in the ability to walk
- Revision surgery
- Mood swings
- Hearing loss
- Vision trouble
- Disturbed sleep
- Skin rash
Pending Litigation Against Smith And Nephew
The BHR lawsuits that have been filed are still pending. Most of the cases allege that Smith and Nephew designed and sold a defective device and that they knew, or should have known, of the risks associated with the product and failed to give proper warning.
BHR lawsuits are filed individually, not as class action lawsuits. Recently, the cases were combined into a single Multi District Litigation, or MDL. MDLs are beneficial because it allows plaintiffs the ability to file individually and receive compensation based on their specific injuries, rather than being forced to split a judgment equally between plaintiffs as in class action lawsuits.
As of May, 2018, there are a reported 143 cases pending. The cases are all in the early stages and to date have had no settlements, no trials and no verdicts.
However, this is not the first time Smith and Nephew have been to court. In 2014, they settled a separate case with the U.S. Federal Government for $11.3 million in a “whistle-blower” lawsuit, which claimed the company had sold Malaysian-made implants to the U.S. government, while providing misleading information that they were manufactured in the U.S.
Do I Have a Lawsuit?
In order to file a hip replacement lawsuit, you must be able to show that you have suffered an injury. This can include any of the various complications and side effects are known to stem from metal-on-metal hip implants.
If you have an implant that has been recalled, you are usually entitled to some type of compensation. The manufacturing company generally pays for some medical expenses and other damages.
However, participation in a recall program could limit your ability to sue for further damages against the company.
It is important to speak with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney to determine your rights and options.
If you have had a hip implant, you should find out the following information from your doctor:
- Was my hip implant recalled? If so, for what reason?
- Of what material is my medical device made?
- Who is the manufacturer of my medical device and what is the model name?
If your hip implant is a metal-on-metal device, you should have your blood tested for high levels of metal and be tested for metallosis – even if you are symptom free. There have been cases where it takes a long time for symptoms to appear and by then, significant damage has occurred to the surrounding tissue and bone.