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Defective Hip Implants & Failures: An Overview

Defective hip implants are more common than ever before. Becoming familiar with common problems can help you avoid larger problems later.

defective hip implant symptoms and legal help


If you have received a hip implant and are now experiencing pain, you are not alone. The number of Americans who have hip implants reached almost half a million in 2011 and is steadily rising as the baby boomer generation ages.

According to a recent study by Consumers Union, hip implant failures are unnervingly common and the official process for dealing with these failures is hard to find. This might explain why hip implants rarely come with warranties.

Over the last ten years, almost six hundred hip implants were recalled in the United States. Some of these were recalled by the FDA, but due to time-consuming bureaucratic processes the FDA is often unwilling to issue and enforce recalls.

Out of all hip implant failures, by far the majority of them fall into a Class II recall, which is described by the FDA as causing “temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences.” Some of the major hip implant companies that have had recent recalls include Biomet, DePuy, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, Wright and Zimmer.

How to Recognize a Defective Hip Implant

With hip implant failures happening more frequently and being associated with more serious safety problems, it is important to know what side effects to expect and when to think about calling an injury lawyer.

As a metal hip implant starts to fail, side effects start out gradually. Some critical symptoms include but are not limited to:

  1. Pain in the hip or groin
  2. Trouble walking or standing up
  3. Swelling or inflammation
  4. Noticeable loosening of the metal hip replacement
  5. Tumors near the site of the hip replacement surgery

If these initial warning signs are ignored, more serious health complications can occur. These include, but are not limited to, necrosis (premature tissue death) in the region surrounding the implant or more general soft tissue damage due to exposure of soft tissues to metal particulates from the implant.

If the implant continues to degrade, metals such as cobalt and chromium can actually seep into the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, potentially causing serious toxicity symptoms.

Who is Responsible for a Hip Implant Failure?

When your hip implant starts to fail or if it is recalled, it is natural to ask yourself who is at fault here. Are you responsible as the patient? What about the doctor who operated on you? Is it the company that produced the implant? These facts are essential to know before you can think about seeking legal action.

Under U.S. product liability laws, fault could rest with the product manufacturer, manufacturer of component parts, party who assembles the product, the wholesaler or the retailer. In most cases of defective hip implant, in order to receive compensation for your pain and financial losses you must prove that the implant had a manufacturing or design defect, or that the manufacturer gave insufficient warnings about the risk associated with using the product.

This is where finding a great lawyer who knows the system and can fully represent you comes into play.

Seeking Legal Help from a Defective Medical Device Lawyer

If you have a hip implant that shows signs of failing prematurely, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for medical bills, time and salary lost to medical treatments as well as general compensation for pain and suffering. Navigating the legal system is complicated for the average person, so it is important to look into getting professional legal counsel.

There are certain law firms that specialize in medical and injury-related lawsuits specific to hip implants such as Gilreath & Associates. To learn more about defective medical products and compensation, visit our Tennessee Personal Injury & Car Accident Guide or contact us for a free consultation.

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