The personal injury attorneys at the Drug Law Center are currently investigating cases where our clients have suffered serious injuries after a Smith & Nephew Hip Replacement surgery.
What is a Smith & Nephew Hip Replacement?
Many patients who suffer from joint pain that cannot be relief through nonsurgical treatments elect to have a hip replacement device that makes the joint more stable, strong, and flexible. More than 300,000 individuals undergo hip replacement surgery in America each year. Approximately nine out of every ten of them enjoy the relief of painful symptoms and can return to normal activities just weeks or months after the procedure.
Joint replacement surgeries continue to be highly successful at relieving pain when corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications are no longer effective. Smith and Nephew is one of the leading medical device manufacturers in the design, manufacturing, marketing, promoting, and selling replacement joints in the medical marketplace.
As a leading medical equipment manufacturer, Smith & Nephew sells different devices including the R3 Acetabular System, Oxinium Hip Replacement System, and the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System. Additionally, the company designs, markets, and sells other joint devices for the shoulders and knees. They promote their products to be used with minimally invasive surgery, computer assistance surgery, and a direct anterior approach to repairing the damaged hip.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Replacement (BHR) System in May 2006 as a resurfacing prosthesis. The device contains two specific parts including the acetabular component (a shallow cup-shaped socket) and the femoral resurfacing component (ball head-formed cap).
Who Needs a Hip Replacement?
The individual suffering with joint pain whose nonoperative treatments have been ineffective might be the ideal candidate for a hip replacement device. The most common problems that can improve after a hip replacement surgery include:
- Difficulty in Sleeping – Patients who suffer from high levels of ongoing pain often have difficulty sleeping at night even when using anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Diminished Daily Activities – Pain arthritis in the hip can severely impact an individual’s participation in daily living activities. Those who can no longer climb stairs, put on their socks and shoes, or require a cane for mobility might find considerable relief after hip replacement surgery.
- Joint Arthritis – At some point, an individual suffering from arthritis suffer severe pain when bones in the joint begin rubbing together. However, individuals with joint bones that are not currently touching (as seen in x-rays) should consider trying all other non-operative treatments before undergoing hip implant surgery.
- Groin Pain – High levels of pain experienced deep in the groin area is a common symptom of hip arthritis. The pain is often caused by inflammation of large nerves that runs through the knee, where some patients experience severe knee pain even when there is nothing wrong with the knee joint. However, if the pain is primarily in the buttocks area, patients should consider trying every nonoperative treatment before undergoing hip replacement surgery.
Serious Hip Replacement Side Effects
Nearly every type of side effect associated with a hip replacement implant is severe. These include chronic inflammation, infections, dislocations, limited mobility, and metal poisoning (metallosis).
Even though many individuals have found tremendous relief after hip replacement surgery, some patients experienced devastating complications caused by any number of factors including:
- Infection – Surgeons often prescribed antibiotics post-surgery in an effort to minimize the potential of developing a serious life-threatening infection.
- Dislocation – The newly implanted artificial joint can never provide a level of stability as a native hip. Some patients experienced dislocation when the head ball of the new joint replacement device pops away from the socket.
- Hip Implant Fractures – During the surgical procedure, the surgeon will “press-fit” the new replacement unit into the existing bone. During surgery and afterward, a crack in the bone can begin to develop.
- Varying Leg Length – Patients suffering from hip arthritis typically have one long leg and one short one that is affected by If the surgeon does not increase the length of the implant to match the opposing leg’s height, it could cause side effects including instability and discomfort/pain.
- Medical Complications – The time of recovery after hip replacement surgery can be challenging, where medical complications are commonplace. Some patients develop blood clots immediately after the surgery or weeks later. These problems tend to occur in individuals who are suffering from other conditions including longer heart disease, stroke, difficulty breathing, and heart attacks.
Hip Replacement Statement from the Company
June 2015 – The global medical device manufacturer Smith & Nephew issued a voluntary recall of some of their “smaller femoral heads and corresponding acetabular cup components for the Birmingham Hip Replacing (BHR) system.” This voluntary removal of some of their products on the medical marketplace comes in response to “recent performance data.”
The recall accounts for approximately one out of every 100 surgical procedures involving Smith & Nephew hip implant devices. The data revealed that the patient groups in the studies “may be a greater risk of revision surgery than previously believed, and is, therefore, removing small sizes and updating the IFU (instructions for use) to contraindicate the [Birmingham Hip Replacement System] for women.”
Smith & Nephew Hip Implant Injury Lawsuits
Many individuals who have undergone hip replacement surgery have filed lawsuits against the medical device manufacturer because of the harm the unit caused after the procedure. Some of these lawsuits involve:
- Preemptive Challenge Survives Smith & Nephew Hip Implant Lawsuit Claim
February 2016 – A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (case number 2:14-CV-30279) has determined that the claims a plaintiff makes in her hip replacement injury lawsuit are not preempted by federal statute. The plaintiff originally made claims in both state and federal courts. The federal judge allowed the continuance of her claims for strict liability and negligence against the device maker in state court.The plaintiff underwent hip joint replacement surgery in 2010 when her surgeons implanted the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System. The Smith & Nephew Metal on Metal artificial joint device caused her to develop severe complications that required revision surgery the following month. Her surgeons determined that she required three additional components in her new implant that were not included in the original system. The plaintiff made claims in court that her complications got significantly worse after the second surgery, necessitating a third surgical procedure.It was then that her surgeons found that the Birmingham Hip Replacement System failed completely where the device shed metal particles into surrounding tissue and cause the development of pseudo tumors (massive tissue development caused by metal toxicity).
- Smith & Nephew Hip Joint Replacement Device Pose Significant Risk of Failure
October 2012 – British medical device manufacturer Smith & Nephew admits the significant risk of failure involving its Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System can cause unexpectedly. Because of that, many warnings and recalls have been issued around the globe. New Zealand officials are warning surgeons in that country to avoid using the device and instead choose plastic or ceramic technologies when recommending partial replacement options to their patients.
- Device Manufacturer Voluntarily Recalls RC3 Acetabular System Components
June 2012 – Smith and Nephew, the metal artificial hip system manufacturer is recalling some components of its R3 Acetabular System because of the high incident rate of failures. The company stated that reports from patients indicate they have suffered fractures, dislocations, and infections. Company records estimate that approximately 7700 individuals will be directly affected by the hip recall voluntarily implemented by the company.An announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that the metal liner in the R3 unit had not yet received clearance to be used with the system. That component had only received approval to be used with the company’s other major product, the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System, which itself has been the focus of many lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who have experienced painful conditions including metallosis (metal toxicity) and dislocation.
Some patients have reported that their implant became dislocated or become loosened, their bones have fractured, they develop infections, or accumulated metallic debris in their bloodstream (metallosis). Other problems include grinding or popping sounds in the hip, intense pain in the groin or hip area, and swelling surrounding the new hip joint replacement device.
Plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits have filed claims in court against Smith & nephew, the manufacturers of the Birmingham Hip Replacement resurfacing device and R3 Acetabular System claiming the devices were defective at the time they were originally made available in the medical marketplace. The plaintiffs are claiming that the artificial hip devices had not been adequately tested, are defective in their design, and are being improperly manufactured.
These plaintiffs and other individuals who suffered serious injury have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the maker of any defective medical product to hold them accountable for their negligence, recklessness, and misrepresentation of their product. These individuals are seeking financial compensation to cover their damages that could include:
- Recovery of ongoing medical expenses
- Payment to cover lost wages caused by missed time away from work
- Financial compensation for noneconomic damages including pain, suffering, mental anguish, high anxiety, and emotional distress
- Financial compensation to cover spousal support or loss of consortium
- Recompense to cover the diminished quality of daily living
Individuals who have suffered serious health conditions that were caused by a recall Smith & Nephew Medical device had the legal right to seek financial compensation and are advised to discuss the merits of their case with an attorney and talk to their doctors to determine if revision surgery is required.
A Smith & Nephew Replacement Injury Lawyer Can Help
The hip replacement injury attorneys at the Drug Law Center are currently standing by to discuss your case involving injury after an artificial hip implant surgical procedure. We understand the complexities of tort law and have years of experience in aggressively fighting pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.
If you, or your loved one, have suffered serious injury by a metal on metal hip implant medical device or resurfacing system by Smith & Nephew, or any other device manufacturer, contact us today to discuss your case. We are currently accepting all joint replacement injury cases through contingency fee arrangements. This means we provide you immediate legal representation and are paid for our services only after we have successfully resolved your case through a negotiated out of court settlement or a jury trial award.
Speak with our lawyers today to discuss your legal options through a no obligation, case consultation at no charge to you. Trust our team to provide you all the legal assistance you need to successfully resolve your complicated product liability or defective medical device case. Until the statute of limitations expires, you are likely entitled to receive financial compensation through legal action.