Metal-on-metal hip implant patients with high levels of metal ions in their blood may still be at risk of suffering complications associated with early hip failure, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms that would suggest it, a new study has found.

Findings of Study May Affect DePuy ASR Hip Lawsuits, DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuits

These revelations may affect the thousands of patients who received the version of the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement that includes a metal Ultamet liner, as well as metal hip devices affected by the DePuy ASR hip recall and Stryker hip recall

According to the study published Mar. 12 at BMJ Open, elevated blood metal ion concentrations claimed by plaintiffs in Stryker hip lawsuits and DePuy ASR hip lawsuits were associated with early failure secondary to adverse tissue reactions or metal debris. Cobalt concentrations higher than 20 µg/l were also shown to cause the development of osteolysis and metal staining of tissues. Female patients in this study, as well as those who received metal hips affected by the DePuy ASR hip recall, were indicated to face a greater risk for complications when exposed to equivalent doses of metal debris.

Authors of this study said its findings provided the “first evidence that blood metal ion tests can be used as a clinical indicator of the risk of early joint failure in asymptomatic patients.”

Given the design of metal hip implants, which consist of a ball and cup comprised of chromium-cobalt alloy, patients have experienced complications common to this class of devices. Metal ions released by the hips can travel through the blood stream, which may manifest in related symptoms and/or injuries.

According to adverse event reports received by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), side effects associated with metal hip replacements may include, but are not limited to:

  • pain and/or swelling at the local joint site;
  • metallosis;
  • loosening;
  • immobility; and
  • inflammation of the surrounding tissue.

These injuries have led thousands of patients to file claims against metal hip manufacturers. Now, thousands of Stryker hip lawsuits, DePuy ASR hip lawsuits, and DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits are pending in courts throughout the U.S.

On Mar. 8, 2013, the plaintiff in the first DePuy ASR hip lawsuit to go to trial in the U.S. was awarded $8.3 million in damages by a Los Angeles jury who found Johnson & Johnson to have defectively designed its ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement. 

Considering a Metal-on-Metal Hip Lawsuit? Contact an Attorney Today.

If you experienced complications after receiving a metal-on-metal hip implant, you may be eligible to file a claim against the manufacturer seeking compensation for your injuries. Call a lawyer at Bernstein Liebhard today at (877) 779-1414.

Published March 20, 2013 by