Metal Hip Implants
What are Metal Hip Implants?
Metal hip implants are meant to aid those who need help getting around, generally seniors or accident victims. These devices are implanted surgically and contain three components: a stem, ball, and cup that mimic a natural hip. These devices are often made from plastics, ceramics, and as of late, metals. Although they were intended to last longer than their counterparts, a Houston metal hip implant attorney will note that serious complications have arisen with the implantation of these devices.
What Complications are Associated With Metal Hip Implants?
There are two basic types of metal hip implants:
- Metal Ball and Metal Cup – Also known as an MoM, these implants are meant to last longer and and can accept larger bearings than other types of hip implants.
- Metal Ball and Polyethylene Cup or Liner – Because polyethylene is considered a plastic, this hip implant is also known as a MoP. The plastic has a smooth surface and allows for smoother movement.
However, serious complications can arise when these devices begin to fail. Many times this failure is inevitable given the continued use of the hip implants and tendency to wear and tear whenever the patient moves.
Although longer lasting, metal on metal hip implants will eventually wear as the components make contact and release metal ions or even solid particles into the patient’s blood stream and body. The case is the same with metal on plastic implants because they also produce plastic debris, and a failure of the device can lead to serious health conditions.
What are the Harmful Effects of Metal Hip Implants?
Metallosis – This is the medical term for a poisoning of the blood that occurs when metal ions from a hip implant enter the patient’s blood stream. Patients with metallosis can experience pain and confusion, but long term effects are more serious and include: digestive issues, nerve damage, thyroid or kidney problems, hemorrhages, cardiovascular events, DNA mutations, reproductive issues, and even elevated cancer risk.
Osteolysis – This is the term for a wearing down of the bones. While this can be caused by bone growths and conditions such as arthritis and infections, patients with a metal on plastic hip implant are at elevated risk for this condition. Symptoms include a weakening of the bones, and there is no cure for osteolysis. The only treatments are medication and surgery.
Other harmful effects of metal hip implants include:
- Inability to move
- Bone fracture
- Joint dislocation
- Neurological issues
Defective Devices and Houston Metal Hip Implant Attorney
If you or someone you know is experiencing adverse effects after metal hip implant surgery, contact our firm for a free consultation with a Houston metal hip implant attorney today.