Rottenstein Law Group Applauds Report of Lubricant Discovery that Could Potentially Improve Design of Future Metal Hip Replacement Implants
(New York, NY, January 17, 2012) The Rottenstein Law Group, which represents clients with claims stemming from the surgical implantation of hip replacement devices manufactured and sold by DePuy Orthopaedics and other companies, is encouraged by a report that researchers might have found a way to make all-metal hips less dangerous to recipients.
According to an article recently published by Reuters, “a substance that forms in patients with all-metal artificial hips turns out to contain the common lubricant graphite, a discovery that could help in designing longer lasting implants, researchers said.”
All-metal hip implants were designed to be more durable than traditional hip replacement devices which typically are comprised of metal and polyethylene, in order to permit a greater range of motion. Unfortunately, as evidenced by a study sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), patients who receive all-metal hips are more likely to need a “revision” surgery than those who receive traditional hip implants. In 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson and Johnson, recalled an entire line of metal-on-metal hip replacement devices, which were failing at a higher-than-expected rate.
A new study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, conducted by U.S. and German scientists, and published in the journal Science, suggests that “graphitic carbon in a lubricating layer that forms on the surfaces of the ball and socket in implanted metallic hips [results from] friction when the two surfaces slide together. Previous research had identified the existence of the layer; but it was assumed to be made of proteins,” according to the Reuters article. “[The] findings could help scientists design future metal hips that are less vulnerable to wear and corrosion. For example, device makers could try to enhance the formation of the graphite or develop a way to make it adhere better to the metal.”
“Metal-on-metal hips were designed to wear longer and can accommodate larger femoral heads, which lowers the risk of hip dislocation,” the Reuters article notes. “But they produce debris in the body that can release metal ions into the blood stream.
More than 450,000 Americans, most with severe arthritis that limits their ability to walk, undergo hip replacement each year. The devices, made of combinations of metals, polymers and ceramics, typically last more than a decade, but their failure rates rise beyond 10 years. Manufacturers include Zimmer Holdings Inc, Wright Medical Group Inc, Smith & Nephew Plc and DePuy.”
The Rottenstein Law Group is advising anyone with a friend or relative who has undergone a hip replacement procedure to reach out to that person and recommend that he or she consult a physician immediately and then speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer. The Rottenstein Law Group lawyers have a total of more than 25 years of experience fighting for the rights of clients who have suffered harm due to the negligence of powerful corporations. Affected individuals can also stay apprised of the latest developments in the DePuy situation by visiting the DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Lawsuit Information Center. The site is equipped with easy-to-use social media features which will enable users to spread the word about DePuy ASR hip replacement device failures.
About the Rottenstein Law Group
The Rottenstein Law Group is a New York-based law firm that represents clients in mass tort actions. The firm was founded by Rochelle Rottenstein, a lawyer with over two decades of experience in compassionate representation of clients in consumer product injury, mass tort, and class action law suits. For more information, please visit their Web site, or call (888) 9-ROT-LAW.
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