Recognizing a Faulty Hip Implant

by LauraFrancis on May 2, 2013

Recent media coverage of the DePuy ASR hip implant recalls has prompted hundreds of patients to share their accounts of faulty implants. But DePuy are not the only company involved in the scandal – over the last ten years, Zimmer, Wright Medical and Biomet are just some of the medical companies that have recalled hip implants. With so many recalls, it’s no surprise that many patients with hip implants are worried about their own implants.

It’s easy to recognize the signs of a faulty hip implant once you look for it. Common symptoms and side effects include:

  • Severe pain within the hip
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Infection within the joint
  • Damage to the tissue and surrounding areas of the hip joint, and in severe cases, the bone
  • Fatigue
  • A general “unwell” feeling
  • Lesions
  • Soft, non-cancerous tumours

If you’re experiencing any of the side effects listed above, it could be as a result of a faulty hip implant. Faulty implants are those that fail within a time-frame of 15 years, although many of the recent cases have involved implants that have failed within 5-6 years of implantation. Faulty metal-on-metal implants cause these side effects for a number of reasons, but in most cases, it is because the grinding of the metal on metal within the implant causes tiny fragments of the metal to be deposited into the body, resulting in numerous painful side effects. Metal grinding against metal could also cause the ball and socket parts of the implant to “pop out”, resulting in a dislocated implant and severe pain. In more severe cases, the implant can become loose, potentially causing broken bones.

If you were fitted with a DePuy ASR implant, or any other implant known to fail prematurely, you may be able to claim compensation for the pain and distress you may be experiencing. Implants that are not known to fail prematurely but that are still causing problems less than 15 years before they were implanted could also be faulty, so you can still pursue a claim. Hip implants naturally start to loosen over time, however, and a typical implant lasts for up to 25 years and sometimes even longer, so it’s important that you don’t mistake a faulty implant for general wear and tear. If you’re unsure, see your surgeon.

It’s also possible that you could experience severe pain and inflammation along with other side effects as a result of faulty surgical technique – in this case, your claim for compensation would be against the surgeon that originally operated on you, rather than the manufacturer. A medical negligence lawyer will be able to tell you where to turn.

Medical negligence law is there to help you when things go wrong. With all of the recent coverage of the DuPuy recall, and with the PIP breast implants scandal, it’s little wonder that more and more patients are seeking help and in some cases compensation when things go wrong.




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