Legal representatives for over 1000 personal injury claimants attended the High Court in London on 12 November 2015 in respect of failed metal-on-metal hip replacements. The case is against some of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers.
A number of legal teams will attend an unprecedented Case Management Conference, through which it will be determined how more than 1000 individual personal injury claims against various manufacturers will be handled on route to trial.
The PI claims discussed in the High Court this week involve 11 different prosthetic hip devices including: the Pinnacle Ultamet total hip device (Depuy); the Zimmer/Metasul total and resurfacing devices (Zimmer); and, the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing device (Smith & Nephew).
The alleged problem with these kinds of devices is that the metal-on-metal design promotes the production of metal debris, leading to the failure of the device and ultimately injury to the user. Injuries allegedly suffered by the claimants include muscle necrosis and tissue damage.
As it stands, a number of devices named in the case have been discontinued, and the majority are no longer recommended for implantation by the British Hip Society.
In relation to the devices Pinnacle Ultamet, Zimmer Durom and Corin prostheses, Group Litigation Orders have been issued by the High Court, allowing for consolidation of the vast number of cases. However, it is likely the High Court will seek to further streamline the large case load.
Hip Pain Claims, UK
Hip replacement has become one of the most common surgical procedures in the UK - and also one of the most effective. According to the UK National Joint Registry (NJR), more than 71,000 hip replacements are carried out each year. However, after being phased out in the 1970’s, metal-on-metal hip replacements have been reintroduced as they were thought to offer a lower risk of dislocation and be lower wearing. Unfortunately, metal-on-metal hip replacements have pro implant survivorship compared to other kinds of hip replacement systems.
The main concern with metal-on-metal hip replacement systems is that they release metal ion particles into the body and this can lead to severe soft tissue reactions. In the medical community, such reactions may be described as metallosis, adverse reactions to metal debris (ARMD) and pseudo-tumours.
Those who have such a reaction to a metal-on-metal hip replacement may experience symptoms such as:
• Groin pain
• Difficulty walking
• Loose components
• A feeling of grinding
If you are suffering from such symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately - it may be that your hip replacement is failing.
It may also be possible to make a personal injury claim for a failing hip replacement. Read our guide to making a personal injury guide here to find out more, or if you want to take legal action, contact us today.
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