On June 1, 2012, Smith & Nephew, a British company manufacturing all-metal artificial hip systems, recalled the optional metal liner component of its R3 Acetabular System. The global medical technology company initiated the recall of the metal hip replacement component due to a high incidence of complications associated with the device. The metal liner at issue was introduced to the market in 2007 and then globally launched in 2009. An estimated 7,700 individuals have been affected by the Smith & Nephew hip recall. According to the company, the majority of the recalled metal liners were used in stemmed total hip replacements.

Hip Recall Update: British Company Recalls Metal Liner Used In All-Metal Artificial Hip System

Upon issuing the Smith & Nephew hip recall, the company released the following statement: “We regularly review the effectiveness of our products and are not satisfied with the clinical results of this component.” Clinical testing revealed that annual revision rates in patients who received the recalled component of the all-metal artificial hip system were 1.6 percent, which is well above the 1 percent rate deemed acceptable by Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Evidence. Although the company claims it did not find evidence that the metal liner causes metallosis or heightened levels of metal debris, the company reported that patients who received the device have experienced complications including:

  • infections;
  • fractures; and
  • dislocations.

Although the company only identified these complications, Dr. Andy Weymann, Smith & Nephew’s Chief Medical Officer, cautioned: “As with all medical devices, anyone experiencing unusual symptoms should contact their surgeon.”

Smith & Nephew Hip Recall Further Illustrates Dangers Of Metal-On-Metal Hip Systems

While the company maintains that the Smith & Nephew hip recall was issued as a precautionary measure and that patients who received the metal liner but have not experienced complications do not need to have the device removed, this hip recall update has added to mounting concerns about the safety of all-metal artificial hip systems. In August 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, issued a voluntary worldwide recall of its ASR hip implant devices after data revealed that the devices had excessively high failure rates. Approximately 93,000 people were affected by that recall. Additionally, since that time, there has been a flood of litigation over the recalled ASR hip replacements and other metal-on-metal hip systems. In the United States and abroad, there is growing concern among medical experts regarding the safety of all-metal artificial hip implant systems. Moreover, the approval processes that governmental regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), use to allow these medical devices on the market have also come under fire.

Affected By This Latest Hip Recall Update? Contact A Lawyer Today

If you underwent hip replacement surgery and experienced complications as a result of being implanted with an all-metal artificial hip system, you may want to consider joining the thousands of other patients who are filing lawsuits to seek compensation for your injuries. To learn more, click here. The hip replacement lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are actively filing cases on behalf of individuals with metal hip implants, including those who received:

  • DePuy ASR hip implants;
  • Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement systems; and
  • Wright Conserve hip replacement systems.

Since the dangers associated with metal-on-metal hip replacement implants were first identified, Bernstein Liebhard LLP has followed developments, and provided a wealth of information on hip recall updates on its website. Contact our lawyers today for a free case review.

Published June 4, 2012 by