Hip replacement surgery is an expensive process that is followed by a slow and often painful recovery. Still, an increasing number of patients are seeking hip replacement surgery to improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, some patients do not find their lives improved after hip replacement surgery because of faulty hip replacement devices or components. This is particularly true for many patients who received defective metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implant devices manufactured by Wright Medical. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA represent victims of defective hip replacement devices in legal actions against manufacturers and others at-fault for the harm they have suffered. If a Wright Medical hip device has caused you injuries or health complications, then contact our Wright Hip Replacement Lawyers today for a free case evaluation to learn about your potential legal rights to receive significant compensation.
History of Wright Recalls and Litigation
Approximately seven million Americans live with a hip or knee replacement, and the number of hip replacement surgeries is expected to grow by more than 170 percent by 2030. Many of them have received defective implants from Wright Medical. Wright Medical has made joint replacement devices for more than six decades. The company has faced legal action relating to:
- Conserve hip replacement system;
- Profemur model;
- Lineage component; and
- Dynasty component.
The above devices are MoM construction and all have suffered issues with early failure due to metallosis (the build-up of metal debris in the body) because of corrosion, fretting, and fractures in the device. Some patients with these devices have also suffered hip fractures and have needed hip replacement revision surgery. The Conserve device was specifically marketed as lasting for 25 to 30 years and as eliminating dislocation. In addition to its unsubstantiated marketing, Wright failed to perform safety testing analyzing the metal ions in the device. The Wright hip implants were manufactured by OrthoRecon, which Wright sold in 2013. As part of the sale, however, Wright remained responsible for remaining lawsuits over its hip replacement devices. Some components of the Profemur were voluntarily recalled in 2015. The recall was classified as a Class 1 recall by the FDA, meaning there was a reasonable probability that the use would cause serious adverse health consequences or death. In 2012, approximately 2,000 lawsuits relating to the Conserve and Profemur models were consolidated. More than 1,200 of the cases were settled in 2016 for $240 million and the remaining cases were settled in 2017 for $90 million. After the final settlement in June 2018, the court closed the multidistrict litigation against Wright, meaning no additional lawsuits could be added. The multidistrict litigation was limited to recipients of the Conserve and Profemur devices, but other components were named in individual lawsuits. Individual lawsuits continue against Wright. The company has stopped manufacturing hip replacement devices and focuses on implants for arms, hands, feet, and ankles.
Risks of Wright Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Devices
MoM hip replacement devices contain ball and socket components that are both made of metal. Manufacturers adopted MoM designs believing metal would give devices a longer life and would promote stability of patients' hip joints. It has become clear over time, however, that these benefits are outweighed by the additional risks that accompany MoM design. Hip replacement procedures carry certain risks, which can include infection and numerous orthopedic complications. In addition to those risks, MoM implants come with the added danger of harming patients by shedding metallic debris when the devices' metal ball and cup rub together. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had documented severe health complications in patients caused by that debris, including damage to the affected joints and severe systemic and immune reactions when metal enters a patient's bloodstream (called metallosis).
Patient Groups at Risk for Metallosis and Other Complications
Medical professionals can't definitively predict which patients develop metallosis because of the debris shed from MoM hip implants. However, studies report that the following groups may face a heightened risk of developing that dangerous reaction:
- Bilateral implant patients;
- Patients with resurfaced hips or undersized femoral heads;
- Female patients;
- Patients receiving large infusions of corticosteroids;
- Patients suffering from kidney troubles;
- Immuno-suppressed patients;
- Patients whose implants are poorly aligned;
- Patients allergic to metals;
- Obese patients; and
- Patients who engage in strenuous activity.
Symptoms Associated with Defective Wright Hip Implants
Anyone who has received a Wright hip replacement implant, particularly one with an MoM design, should stay alert for potential signs and symptoms of complications. These can include:
- Pain in the affected areas of the hip, leg, or groin;
- Swelling in the affected area;
- Rash or other skin irritation;
- Popping, clicking, or grinding sounds coming from the hip hardware;
- Cardiomyopathy (a weakened, enlarged heart muscle);
- Becoming less mobile or flexible;
- Changes in sensory perception, especially hearing and vision;
- Mood swings or difficulty with reasoning;
- Problems with kidney function; and
- Thyroid-related issues such as neck pain, weight gain, and feeling tired or cold.
Alert your doctor immediately to any of the above symptoms if you have received a Wright hip replacement implant, especially if it was a MoM design. Any of these symptoms could signal a dangerous, and potentially life-threatening, reaction to a defective hip device, for which you may need urgent medical attention. Be sure to tell your doctor that you believe your symptoms may have something to do with your hip replacement, to focus your doctor's attention on that potential cause. In some cases, the health complications from a defective Wright hip replacement may grow so severe that you need to have the hardware replaced in a second procedure known as a revision procedure. We understand that the prospect of having another surgery does not appeal to anyone. However, ignoring your symptoms could put your health at extreme risk, and may also impair your legal rights.
What to Do if You Have a Defective Wright Hip Implant
First and foremost, stay vigilant. Hip replacement hardware can fail in a variety of sometimes-unpredictable ways. Experience tells us that Wright MoM implants, in particular, can cause severe problems for some patients. However, no matter what model of Wright implant you carry in your body, your own attention to your health and potential symptoms provides your first line of defense against serious health complications. Next, as discussed above, call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the symptoms above after having received a Wright implant. Err on the side of caution in this respect. Even a mild symptom could signal a major problem. Third, if your doctor diagnoses health complications due to a defective Wright implant, whether an MoM or otherwise, then after starting appropriate medical care, contact an experienced defective medical device law firm like Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. In a free, confidential initial consultation, a lawyer can give you an initial impression on whether you may have a legal claim for damages against the device's manufacturer or another party involved in making, selling, selecting, or implanting the device in your body. If you and the lawyer decide to explore your legal options further, then the lawyer can also evaluate your range of legal options for seeking care and compensation for your injuries and losses. Your options may vary depending upon the model of hip you received, when you received it, who selected it, and the apparent severity of your symptoms. In general, however, those options can include:
- Cooperating with regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, in an investigation into the device that harmed you;
- Taking legal action as an individual against any party legally-responsible for the harm caused by the defective hip hardware you received, which could include a manufacturer, distributor, or healthcare provider; or
- Joining or initiating a class-action lawsuit, in which you and other patients like you band together to assert a common legal claim against a legally-liable party.
The experienced defective medical device lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA possess deep knowledge and resources that they put to work on behalf of victims of defective medical devices. Contact them today if you have suffered harm due to a defective Wright replacement hip.
Damages for a Defective Wright Hip Implant
Every defective hip implant case we handle at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has particular facts. However, in general, our clients who suffer harm from a defective hip replacement device can often take legal action seeking to recover compensation for:
- Medical costs associated with treating the symptoms of a dangerous reaction to a defective hip device, and when necessary, with replacing that device through revision surgery.
- Other costs incurred as a result of living with and suffering harm from a defective hip replacement device, such as the expense of hiring a helper around the house, or of modifying living space to accommodate a patient's limited mobility;
- Lost wages and income the patient would or could have earned, but for the disruption and disabilities caused by the defective hip hardware;
- Pain and suffering caused by the various challenges of having a defective hip replacement, including the psychological trauma of living with a dangerous object inside one's body, and the many ways that physical discomfort and lack of mobility can get in the way of someone's enjoyment of and participation in everyday life.
- Punitive damages, which courts may award when the decisions or conduct leading to the implantation of a dangerous, defective medical device in a patient's body were extremely reckless or intentionally harmful.
As lawyers for patients who have received defective hip replacements, we cannot guarantee that our clients will recover compensation for their injuries and losses. We can, however, assure our clients that they can give themselves the best possible chance of securing the money damages they need and deserve by hiring a skilled, knowledgeable medical device defect law firm, like Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, to represent them.
Act Soon to Protect Your Rights
Do not delay in seeking legal advice about the harm you have suffered due to a defective Wright Medical hip implant. In some states, you may have an extremely limited amount of time after discovering your injuries to take legal action. Missing deadlines for filing a lawsuit can result in the loss of valuable legal rights. The sooner you speak with an experienced defective medical device attorney, the sooner the rest of the process of seeking compensation on your behalf can begin. Also, by taking quick action, you give yourself and your attorney the best chance of finding and preserving evidence that may be critical to proving your case. Seeking the advice of a skilled attorney can also set your mind at ease. We understand how upsetting and stressful it can feel to learn that you have defective medical hardware in your body. A lawyer can help to carry that burden by taking the necessary legal steps on your behalf, leaving you the space to focus on making the best decisions for your health.
Attorneys for Victims of Defective Wright Medical Hip Hardware
Getting your hip replaced is supposed to improve your life, not make it more difficult. In the aftermath of learning that a defective hip replacement puts your health at risk, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain of where to turn for help. Fortunately, Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA lawyers understand the challenges victims of defective Wright Medical hip implants face, and the stress and upset they feel. Our mission is to advocate for our clients and to secure maximum compensation on their behalf, so that they have the financial support they need to heal and return to living a fulfilling life. If you or someone you love is suffering from the ill-effects of a defective hip replacement device manufactured by Wright Medical, contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA online or at 833-552-7274. We'll provide you with a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to learn about your potentially valuable legal rights to compensation for your injuries and losses. We represent clients nationwide.
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