As a medical procedure, hip replacement has been common for several hundred years. Recently, advances in technology have sped up the actual surgery and recovery process. There have also been improvements in the design of the hip devices. However, the rush to make these improvements has led to some alarming risks.
For example, metal-on-metal hip devices are showing up with huge failure rates. This issue has become so severe that it has caught the attention of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has conducted surveys that have found metal-on-metal hip implants can lead to a long string of health risks. In some extreme cases, the need for new surgery is required.
Understanding the Metal-on-Metal Device
Before the creation of the metal-on-metal hip implant, the most common type of device was made of ceramic or a metal ball that fit into a plastic socket. The problem with the metal-on-metal device is that when the components of the joint rub together it could release micro amounts of the metal. In other words, anytime you would walk, run or even cross the room you could be releasing toxins into your system. The result of those toxins can lead to soft tissue damage. This in turn can generate chronic pain, device failure, and complications requiring surgery. Those metal fragments can also get into your blood stream and travel throughout your body causing all kinds of problems.
Metal-on-Metal Device Complications
The following is a list of possible symptoms associated with metal-on-metal hip device failure:
- Pain in the hip region.
- Swelling of your thighs, legs, and ankles.
- Diminished capacity to walk.
- General numbness.
- Increased noises such as clicking, grinding, and popping during movement.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact your orthopedic doctor as soon as possible. The next call you make should be to an experienced lawyer specializing in defective medical products.
The problems associated with metal-on-metal hip devices translate into the need to provide patients with compensation for their pain and suffering. This will require the services of a skilled attorney who understands the nature of these ailments and who has gone up against the manufacturer’s insurance company.
The first step is to gather the evidence. Your new attorney will be in close contact with your doctor to obtain all the information about your surgery and recovery. They could also recommend a second orthopedic surgeon to provide an objective opinion of your case.
Once all of the documentation has been gathered, your attorney will file a formal complaint with the manufacturer. This is when that company’s insurance adjuster will get involved. That adjuster will want to review the documentation and interview you. During those early depositions, you’ll be describing all the pain you’ve been having since your surgery. If it is shown that the device is indeed at fault, then your lawyer will attempt to negotiate a settlement.
Often, the manufacturer would like to avoid the negative publicity associated with a formal lawsuit. This is why they might settle out of court.
However, if the manufacturer refuses to settle, your lawyer can move forward with the lawsuit. This will require both sides to present their evidence in front of a jury. You’ll probably have to testify again, but you’ll be asked the same questions as were presented in your deposition. The jury will determine the outcome of your case. You might find that when an insurance company sees your resolve to move forward with the lawsuit, then they will be willing to settle.
Your lawyer will be by your side throughout this entire process. You’ll have to be patient as these matters take time. However, the precedent for settlements has been established. If you are suffering from a defective metal-on-metal hip replacement, then talk with a lawyer who can help get you compensation.