FDA Approves New Hip Replacement System, Demands More DePuy Defective Hip Research

Illinois medical device lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have long questioned the safety of metal- on- metal hip implants. Our clients have suffered debilitating consequences from defective hip replacement systems and continue to experience serious hip implant complications. We are cautious about the first ceramic metal-on-metal total hip replacement system approved by the FDA on June 13, 2011. This system is similar to DePuy’s recalled ASR hip systems, which released toxic metal particles into patients’ bodies. The FDA recently ordered DePuy and 20 other hip implant manufacturers to conduct more research on the side-effects patients are experiencing, further raising concerns about the dangers of these devices.

The newly approved hip implant system combines a ceramic ball with a metal socket. A two-year clinical trial found no difference between patients implanted with the ceramic-on-metal system and patients implanted with a metal-on-metal system. As the Wall Street Journal reports, DePuy Orthopedics must conduct post-market studies to monitor the side effects that patients experience. The FDA is primarily concerned with early failure rates and complications that lead to increased metal concentrations in the blood. These dangerous health effects led DePuy Orthopedics to recall more than 100,000 metal-on-metal hip implants in August of 2010. Independent studies show that as many as 49 percent of defective DePuy hips failed, causing patients severe pain and forcing many of them to undergo expensive corrective surgeries. As the metal-on-metal hip implants deteriorated, they shed metallic ions into the surrounding tissue and bloodstream, leading to problems ranging from deafness to heart failure.

Depuy hip manufacturer Johnson & Johnson faces more than 1,000 Depuy hip lawsuits, including a recently filed Illinois suit by a hip recall victim who suffered from dangerous levels of chromium in his bloodstream and was forced to undergo a second hip implant operation. Like thousands of DePuy hip victims around the country, he reasonably relied on the advice of his doctors and experienced life-changing complications. Our Chicago hip implant lawyers hope that the latest ceramic hip implant device can avoid causing patients similar health complications, but only time will tell whether problems will arise.

Amid a flurry of defective DePuy hip lawsuits, the FDA recently demanded more research on the safety of hip implant devices. To better evaluate the risk of harm, the agency ordered DePuy, Zimmer hips, Stryker hips, and nearly twenty other medical device manufacturers to further investigate the effects of metal-on-metal hip implants. Scientific studies have already linked these devices to heightened blood levels of chromium and cobalt, negatively affecting the nervous system, heart, and thyroid.

Our Depuy hip implant attorneys continue to advocate on behalf of patients who suffered adverse reactions to defective hip implants. All hip implant patients implanted with a recalled hip device are at risk for severe health complications. Hip recall victims reported symptoms such as swelling, difficulty walking, and numbness. We have helped them recover damages for expensive medical bills, along with pain and suffering. The FDA does not know the full extent of damages that metal-on-metal hip systems may cause, and the approval of a new hip device may lead to an even broader range of dangerous side effects.

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