What should consumers know about metal-on-metal hip implants?

Hip implants are meant to improve patient mobility when the natural hip socket has suffered damage or severe wear. Patients who need a hip replacement will usually work closely with an orthopedic surgeon to determine which model is appropriate for their needs. They will also have to find out more about the procedure.

One of the options that is available for patients who need a hip implant is a metal-on-metal model. These were once thought to be the longer-lasting version of this medical device. However, it has since come to light that many of these aren't safe options.

What's wrong with metal-on-metal hip implants?

One of the primary issues with these implants is that the metal wears down quickly. As the metal components rub against each other, shavings can occur. These can enter into the bloodstream. This can cause a condition known as metallosis, which can cause blood poisoning, inflammation, circulatory issues, cognitive changes and bone loss.

The friction that occurs in the joint means that the artificial replacement will wear down long before the 20-year time frame noted by the manufacturers. This will lead to patients needing to have another surgery to replace the worn out components. The revision surgery to address a defective hip implant puts the patients at risk of things like nerve damage and infection.

How are patients impacted by defective hip implants?

The cost of having revision surgery is considerable, even if you only factor in the cost of the procedure. Because this is a major surgery, hospitalization is necessary. There is also the need for therapy after the surgery to help them gain back the full use of the joint. During this time, the person is unlikely to be able to return to work, which means a dip in income.

Patients who have experienced a problem with a hip replacement might opt to seek compensation for the damages they suffered. These product liability claims are based on the fact that the manufacturers didn't take proper steps to warn people about the dangers of these medical devices.

By working with an attorney who is familiar with these cases, you might be able to recover the financial damages, including compensation for pain and suffering, that stem from the metal-on-metal hip implant. Because there are time limits for filing these claims, you should get things started as quickly as possible after you realize that there is an issue with the device.

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