Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Under Scrutiny

Elise Kramer | May 3rd, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration responded to many reports of complications from the Zimmer hip, announcing in March of 2012 that it would combine a board of medical experts to review metal-on-metal hip replacement systems as a whole. These devices have recently come under fire, with some medical experts questioning whether or not metal-on-metal hip replacement systems should still be on the market based on the sheer number of patients who have come forward with complications associated with their metal on metal hip replacement systems, including the hip replacement systems. Depending on what conclusion the review panel will come to, the results could have an impact either positive or negative on hip replacement lawsuit claims.

Zimmer hip replacement problems noted in patients

Many patients are pursuing Zimmer Hip litigation after experiencing hip complications including early loosening, metallosis, hip implant failure, and the premature need for revision surgery. The FDA panel is set to meet on the 27th and 28th of June, 2012, and will hear the testimony of researchers, scientists, patients, and medical professionals. They will review device failure rates, patient risk factors, implant complications, the occurrence of metallosis, and other important factors involved in the evaluation of hip replacement systems.

A number of lawsuits have been filed by plaintiffs who have contacted an  attorney in order to file suit against the orthopedics manufacturing giant, hoping to win damages and other costs associated with the hip complications they have undergone. Complaints include hip replacement problems, including metallosis, which is a metal poisoning that takes place when shards of metal flake off into the patient’s bloodstream, which can damage tissues. Premature loosening of the implant is another serious concern in hip lawsuits. These conditions can be a catalyst for the need for painful and dangerous hip revision surgery, which can be extremely costly for a patient.

No recall despite reports

Despite the growing reports of hip replacement problems, there has not been a Zimmer hip replacement recall yet. The FDA ordered 21 metal on metal hip implant manufacturers, including Zimmer, to conduct safety studies on their devices in May of 2011, which could eventually lead to a recall, but has not yet.