Dozens of metal-on-metal hip replacement patients in South Yorkshire, Great Britain, are seeking damages from the manufacturers of the hip devices, alleging injuries ranging from device failure to toxic metal poisoning.
According to The Star, 34 patients in South Yorkshire are suing DePuy Orthopaedics, maker of the ASR XL Acetabular and Hip Resurfacing systems, which the company recalled in August 2010 after medical data indicated a staggering number of the devices failed prematurely. Since then, patients have reported myriad problems, including intense pain, dislocation, immobility, bone fracture, muscle and tissue decay, nausea, and other severe complications linked to hip devices made with cobalt and chromium parts.
All-metal hips first appeared on the global market about 10 years ago. Designers of the hips intended them to be stronger and longer-lasting than conventional hips made with ceramic and plastic parts, thus making them ideal for younger, more active patients. Sadly, though, many recipients of metal-on-metal hips have experienced pain, illness, and disability rather than a better quality of life.
According to The Star, North Anston, UK, resident Lindsey Turner, 35, needed to undergo revision surgery last year to remove a metal hip replacement that it seems was casting excessive amounts of chromium and cobalt into her blood. Friction between the metal parts on these devices can release metal particles into the body, which may enter the bloodstream and damage tissue, muscle, and bone. In Ms. Turner’s case, blood tests revealed the level of toxic metals in her blood was extremely high.
Ms. Turner isn’t alone in her journey. According to The Star, more than 10,000 people in Great Britain have received metal-on-metal hip implants. And, while many of those patients have already reported complications to their doctor or undergone revision surgery to remove and replace the metal hips, many more could likely experience problems with their hip devices in the future.