Scientists in Great Britain are currently conducting a study on the effects of metal-on-metal hip replacement devices and an increased risk for cancer according to a recent article in the Telegraph. In August 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, issued a recall of its DePuy ASR metal hip implant amidst patient complaints of nerve and tissue damage. The failure rate of these devices was noted at 12%-13% within 5 years. It was discovered that the friction in the ball and socket joint was causing metal particles to flake off of the implant. The presence of this metal in the blood and surrounding tissue can cause serious side effects such as: infection, bone fractures, bone staining, necrosis, swelling, dislocation, nerve damage, tissue damage, muscle damage, metal sensitivity, increased metal ion levels in the blood and pain.

Metal-on-metal hip replacement devices were introduced in the Great Britain in the 1990s and then used in the United States shortly thereafter. It is estimated that approximately half (40,000)  of the recalled DePuy ASR metal hip implants were implanted into American patients. The concern now in the U.K. is whether or not the metal shavings that have been released into the blood stream pose an increased risk to patients. Early findings from the study have been reported to show that 17 patients from a group of 72 were found to have genetic damage to their bladders, which includes 3 patients who had developed cancer. Significant genetic damage could lead to cell mutations that could then result to cancers, scientists believe. The full study is expected to be released next month. In the U.S., the FDA has asked over 21 different hip implant manufacturers to conduct a more in depth study of these devices and their impact on patients.

If you or a loved one is concerned about a hip replacement device or is experiencing any side effects from a hip replacement, please contact Cohen & Malad, LLP to speak with one of our experienced product liability/personal injury attorneys to discuss your legal options and help you seek the compensation you deserve.