If a hip replacement fails, liability for injury is usually placed on the manufacturer, but sometimes the surgeon that performed the procedure may be at fault for negligence.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently experienced a rise in the number of complaints about failed hip replacements, hinting serious issues persist with certain artificial hips, according to The New York Times. The soar in medical implant complaints occurs even when researchers increase efforts to evaluate the health dangers posed by such medical devices, known as metal-on-metal hips.
Overview of Hip Implants
Hip replacement is a common medical procedure throughout the United States. Hip replacement surgery, also known as total hip arthroplasty, involves removing a diseased hip joint and replacing it with an artificial joint. The artificial joint is called a prosthesis, consisting of a ball component, made of ceramic or metal. There is also a socket, which has an insert or liner made of plastic, metal, or ceramic. The implants used in hip replacement are biocompatible. They are meant to be accepted by a patient’s body, and made to resist wear, corrosion, and degradation.
Hip replacement is generally used for people with hip joint damage from arthritis or an injury. After rehabilitation, hip replacement can relieve pain and restore range of motion and function of a hip joint.
Types of Failing Implants
The majority of hip replacement medical device complaint filings with the FDA seem to involve patients who have had an all-metal hip removed, or will soon undergo such a procedure because a medical device failed after a few years; usually, replacement hips last 15 years or more.
One of the most problematic devices, the A.S.R., or Articular Surface Replacement, was recalled in 2010 by Johnson & Johnson. These devices made up 75 percent of the complaints reviewed by The New York Times when writing its news article. The news article cites fragments resulting from metal-on-metal contact as a cause for some of the complaints and inherent issues with the medical devices.
Who is Legally Liable for the Failure?
A doctor or other health care provider using failed hip replacements may be sued for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is professional negligence by a medical provider who deviates from the reasonable standard of care in the medical community and leads to death or injury to the patient. Generally, in hip recall cases the claim is against the manufacturers and sellers of the products, not the surgeons who install them to the patients.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you or a loved one suffers injuries from a recalled hip replacement or medical malpractice to hold medical providers and appliance manufacturers accountable for injuries to patients.