What Is a Metal-On-Metal Hip Implant?
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Miami Defective Medical Device Attorney Explains the Shortcomings of Metal-On-Metal Hip Implants
DePuy hip implants are meant to relieve pain and require invasive surgery to install, so when the implant functions incorrectly, it is devastating to patients to have to endure once more than pain of surgery to have the implant replaced. DePuy hip implants have caused many hip replacement patients great pain and suffering as a result of their defective design as a metal-on-metal hip implant. What is a metal-on-metal hip implant? Miami medical product defect attorney Mike Eidson explains the DePuy hip implant, how it works and why the metal-on-metal design can lead to serious personal injuries that take additional surgeries to correct.
The long bone in your hip right here is called a femur and it ends up with a round ball, and that round ball goes into a hole in your hip, your pelvis. It’s called the acetabulum and that socket is filled with material that cushions that rotation that you use every time you walk down the street. Normally, that cushion lasts for a lifetime but because of arthritis and because some people get injured in sports, they suffer an injury to the lining of the acetabulum, the part that’s in the pelvis. And the most common way that an orthopedic surgeon who does this type of operation fixes that problem is by cutting off the femur about six or eight inches down and then they drill down into the bone and put down a part that replaces the part they’ve removed. It’s made out of metal. They’ll now drill out the acetabulum which is this cup, like this, they take all that surface out and they put a piece of plastic, in this case metal, they put metal in there and they cement that in. And then they put the two together and they rotate against each other so that you don’t have bone on bone anymore. You have metal on metal but you don’t have any nerve fibers anymore because you’ve removed all that surface, so that should eliminate the pain. But the problem with metal-on metal is that we found out that as this begins to be used over a year or two, metal begins to grind off and it migrates to other parts of the body and then you don’t have a smooth surface anymore. It can also become loose and when that happens, it’s not useful anymore.