DePuy's products are known as metal-on-metal hip replacements, which means that both the ball and socket components are made of metal such as cobalt or chromium. According to manufacturers, the advantages of a metal-on-metal implant are increased durability and greater range of motion as compared to earlier implants that used a mix of metal, ceramics and plastic. However, those claims regarding improved durability have been shown to be false.
All-metal hip implants have one key problem: The friction caused by normal movement of the device causes microscopic metal shavings to be released into surrounding tissue and blood. This leads to a medical condition called metallosis, which means metal debris builds up in the soft tissues of the body, causing painful inflammation.
Metallosis is known to lead to premature death in the tissue surrounding the implant site. Healthy pink tissue becomes gray or black necrotic tissue. In addition, some data indicates that the presence of metal ions in the bloodstream can lead to damage to the spleen, liver, lymph nodes and kidneys as well as neurological and heart problems.
Legal Rights for Patients
The DePuy metal-on-metal hip implants are known to have an especially high failure rate – as high as 50 percent – which means they generally need to be replaced. Of course, replacing a defective hip means another costly and painful surgery. Patients may also be entitled to compensation for ongoing medical treatment to deal with the effects of metallosis, as well as ongoing monitoring to make sure their hip implants have not failed.
DePuy's parent company, Johnson & Johnson, has already paid out billions in settlements for patients. However, as more patients come forward, the amount of compensation needed is expected to grow.
If you or a loved one has suffered side effects due to a defective metal-on-metal hip implant, contact us today. We'll help you fight for the compensation you need to pay for your medical treatment and keep moving forward.