Scientists discover why metal-on-metal hip replacements cause patients more pain?

Scientists from the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) have discovered that the pain experienced by recipients of metal-on-metal hip implants such as the now recalled DePuy ASR hip device is caused primarily by tissue damage rather than deterioration of the metal components used.

Metal-on-metal hip implants were designed to be more hard-wearing than ceramic devices however companies such as DePuy and Stryker have found that their all-metal devices have malfunctioned early in many patients. As a result, revisions surgeries have been required in many cases.

The study centred on a comparison between 48 patients who required revisions following dislocation or loosening of the implant, or implant-related fractures or infection, and 50 patients who required revisions due to unexplained pain.

Tissue damage was of particular concern to researchers so a rating system was devised with 1 equating to the least severe damage and 10 marking the most severe.

The study revealed some interesting statistics. Those patients in the unexplained pain group were 10 times more likely to record high tissue damage scores as those in the second category. 12% of all patients in the study were found to have high levels of chromium and cobalt in their tissues. Furthermore, nearly two thirds of those with unexplained pain scored 5 or above for tissue damage.

Despite having known that there were problems with the ASR devices in 2005, DePuy continued to market the products and did not recall them until 2010. In the ongoing clinical negligence scandal that followed in light of the ASR recall, nearly 11,000 lawsuits have been filed against DePuy. At the first trial, the jury found that the design of the devices was defective and the company was ordered to pay £8.3 million in compensation claims  damages to the claimant.

Don’t suffer in silence – call our specialist medical negligence solicitors for hip replacement recall claims advice

If your hip implant has failed necessitating the pain and trauma of a revision surgery, you can claim compensation for the resulting pain, suffering and financial loss. Our expert medial negligence solicitors are here to help, so:

  • Call us today on 01722 422300, or
  • Fill out the enquiry form below.

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