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Joint replacement surgeries are becoming more common as medical technologies advance and people are living more active lives. A common joint to fail is the hip joint as it is the largest joint in the body.  According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 450,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States. However, many faulty hip replacement devices have been recalled.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons list the most common cause of hip pain as:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is an age-related wear and tear type of arthritis. It usually occurs in people 50 years of age and older and often in individuals with a family history of arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an autoimmune disease in which the synovial membrane becomes inflamed and thickened.
  • Posttraumatic arthritis: This can follow a serious hip injury or fracture. The cartilage may become damaged and lead to hip pain and stiffness over time.
  • Osteonecrosis: An injury to the hip, such as a dislocation or fracture, may limit the blood supply to the femoral head. This is called osteonecrosis (also sometimes referred to as avascular necrosis).
  • Childhood hip disease: Some infants and children have hip problems. Even though the problems are successfully treated during childhood, they may still cause arthritis later in life. This happens because the hip may not grow normally, and the joint surfaces are affected.

Unfortunately, many hip replacement components have been recalled during the last few years due to high failure rates and complications. Particularly metal-on-metal (MoMs) devices seem to have a high failure rate. Metal-on-metal hip systems are where the “ball and socket” of the hip implant are made both of metal. There are many faulty hip replacement devices now known to the medical community.

A list of many of these recalled hip implant devices include:

  • Depuy Pinnacle Metal on Metal Hip Replacement Failure
  • Stryker L-Fit V40 Metal Head Failure
  • Zimmer M/L Taper with Kinectiv Technology
  • Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Recall
  • DePuy ASR Acetabular Cup
  • Wright Conserve Plus and Profemur Z Hip Stem

Since 2016, the FDA has now issued a premarket approval for any metal-on-metal (MoM) devices, the most stringent regulatory category of the FDA’s oversight for medical devices.  You can read more about the FDA’s MoM hip implants regulations here.

Is My Hip Replacement Failing?

It might be hard to notice your hip implant failing right away, so it is always a good idea to speak with your doctor if you do notice anything out of the ordinary.  Some common signs of a hip implant failing are:

  • Pain
  • Swelling around hip area
  • Lumps or unusual bumps around the hip area
  • Feeling as if the joint as moved or slipped while walking
  • Popping or other noises from the hip area during movement

If you have a MoM hip device, but have no pain, it’s also a good idea to have your doctor run a blood test to look for elevated levels of cobalt or chromium.  These metals are used in the implant and if found in your blood will indicate that the hip implant is wearing down. Metals in your bloodstream can cause neurological issues.

If you are concerned about your hip implant or a faulty hip replacement device, please contact us for a free consultation with our experienced team.