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How dangerous are hip replacements?

Hip replacements have long been the medical treatment of choice for people suffering from a variety of hip problems. However, if you underwent a pre-2014 hip replacement in Arizona, you should know that your metal-on-metal hip could be highly hazardous to your health.

The New York Times recently reported that one such patient, himself an orthopedic surgeon, ultimately suffered life-threatening injuries and medical conditions based on his 2006 hip replacement. The specific hip in question was a Johnson & Johnson ASR XL metal-on-metal hip. The patient continued to experience hip pain after his surgery that ultimately increased in severity to the point where he elected to undergo a second surgery in 2011 to remove it. His surgeons were shocked to discover that during the five years the hip had been in his body, it had leaked cobalt into it, resulting in metallosis, a build-up of metal debris, that not only destroyed his hip’s nearby muscles, tendons and ligaments, but also invaded his heart and brain.

Although Johnson & Johnson removed its ASR XL metal-on-metal hip from the market in 2010, it continued to sell its substantially similar Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip until 2013. Since then, over 9,000 hip replacement patients have filed defective product lawsuits against the company. In 2018, a jury awarded six New York claimants a verdict of $247 million.

Defective medical devices

Unfortunately, numerous medical devices other than artificial hips likewise frequently fail, such as the following:

  • Heart valves
  • Pacemakers
  • Cardiac stents
  • Sprint Fidelis defibrillators
  • Surgical mesh, a/k/a transvaginal mesh
  • Vagus nerve stimulators

Should you have an artificial hip or one of the above listed medical devices implanted in your body, you need to immediately report any unusual symptoms or problems you encounter to your physician or other health care professional. You likewise need to be proactive when it comes to monitoring your own health. For instance, you should also make it a practice to check for recalls of your specific device. Upward of 120 Class I medical devices get recalled every year.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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