Having severe pain in the hip from the joint degrading or an injury to the socket will often lead a person to head to the doctor. Sometimes patients learn that they need to have a hip replacement.
Once the decision is made to replace the hip, the surgeon will discuss the type of device that will be used with the patient. Patients who have had metal-on-metal hip implants have found that there are some serious issues with these devices.
A critical design flaw
Hip implants used to be made with plastic or ceramic. The issue with these was that they didn’t last long so patients would often have to have the procedure repeated during their lifetimes. Metal-on-metal hip implants were thought to be the answer to this. They were supposed to last 20 years, which seemed like a very good thing when you compared that to the much shorter life span of other hip implants.
After patients had the metal-on-metal implants, many still experienced problems. Patients had to undergo new hip replacements in just a few years instead of 20 years. The issue is that normal usage caused metal shards to shave off from the implant. The presence of these shards can lead to serious complications for the patients and usually require revision surgeries to correct.
Complications can occur
When metal shards are loose in the body, they can cause serious issues. One potential problem is if the patients have reactions to the metal, which can lead to severe pain or tissue damage. Healthy bone that forms around the implant can die due to contact with the metal shards.
Loose pieces of the implant can enter the bloodstream and may puncture vital structures, such as blood vessels. This can also require patients to undergo extensive medical care after their hip replacements.
Aftercare for all hip replacements
No matter what type of hip replacement a patient has, it is imperative that they have it evaluated to ensure it is still functioning properly. If the implant is a metal-on-metal implant, an aspiration procedure that involves sticking a needle into the socket and pulling fluid out to check for signs of metal shavings might be necessary.
Some patients weren’t accurately warned about the dangers of the hip implant they received. If you weren’t informed or fell victim to a defective hip implant, you might opt to take legal action to help cover your expenses, pain and suffering related to the problem.