The artificial hip failure problems that began with DePuy now have cast a broader spotlight on the entire artificial hip industry that utilizes similar metal-on-metal designs.
The acknowledgement of problems with the DePuy ASR device last year, may yet precipitate similar acknowledgements from other manufacturers about defects with their artificial hips comprised of similar metals.
Over the next decade, an estimated 50,000 people per year will likely require a revisionary surgery due to a defective metal-on-metal hip that they we originally given. The heart of the probelm stems from the fact that metal particles shear off from the hip in large number of patients.
Depending on the type of device and the individual, the metal particles from may have a variety of debiitating problems including: pain, inflammation or metal poisoning (due to heavy metals like cobalt and chromium getting absorbed into the body). Studies have shown that the metal debris may originate from three different areas of the artifical hips incuding:
- Cup and head of the metal hip
- Head and neck of the hip
- Where the neck and stem of the hip are joined
After reading a recent New York Times article, “Artificial Hip Failures to Cost Billions” I suspect the broader acknowledgement by other medical device manufacturers has to do with the tremendous expense related not just to the legal claims that individuals may have with respect to the defective products for non-economic damages— like pain and suffering— but due to the staggering expenses related to surgically removing the defective hardware and replacing it with a more effective device.
The Times article chronicles how assurances made by DePuy to their ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) hip-implant recipients following the recall of their product have come up a little short as the company has attempted to pay only a portion of the total charge that some patients have when receiving medical care for their defective hips– leaving the hospital and surgeon performing the revisionary surgery looking to the individual for the balance.
Similarly, in other situations where patients have experienced serious complications like infections or fractures during or following the revisionary hip procedure, there is further ambiguity if the complications are indeed related to the defective product.
As a lawyer who is representing a number of clients in matters related to defective metal-on-metal hips manufactured by DePuy and other companies, I see first hand the inherent conflict created by DePuy and consumers when if they become reliant on the company for paying their related damages for revisionary surgery. Consequently, I have been recommending to all of my DePuy ASR clients that in order to avoid this conflict altogether, they should submit all related charges to their own health insurance company or to Medicare.
Regardless of who pays for the immediate care, the insurance company and / or Medicare will have a subrogation interest— but at least the expense will be paid now, and the inherent conflict created when a responsible party paying for related care is taken out of the equation.
Metal-On-Metal Hip Injuries
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is proud to be recognized by our peers as pioneers in the metal-on-metal hip litigation. We have clients throughout the country whom have been impacted in a variety of ways due to defective metal hips.
If you were the recipient of a metal hip and have developed medical complications— or simply have questions about your legal rights, our team of hip recall lawyers can help. We offer free legal consultations and our services are free if we do not recover for you.