Hip arthroplasty is a procedure performed on patients suffering from advanced hip arthritis. For many years hip prosthetics were made using a medical grade plastic known as polyethylene. This material oftentimes wore down, and required revision surgery to replace the worn out prosthetic. Thus metal-on-metal bearing surfaces were invented, as these stronger metallic pieces are much more wear-resistant. Despite their superior durability, these metal-on-metal prosthetics can cause other complications. One of the biggest concerns with these new metal-on-metal prosthetics is that they can release metal ions into the bloodstream. It is still unknown how carcinogenic elevated metal ion levels in the blood can be, but tumors and pseudotumors have been associated with the use of these implants.
One study focused on the effects of elevated metal ions in the blood, in pregnant women. More specifically, they wanted to examine if the metal ions were found in the blood of the fetus. The study was conducted by Dr. C.C. Novak et al. The study is titled “Metal Ion Levels in Maternal and Placental Blood Following Metal-on-Metal Arthroplasty,” and was published in the Journal of Arthroplasty in April 2010. The researchers state “Our study evaluates metal ion concentrations in maternal and fetal serum.”
The researchers obtained maternal and umbilical cord blood from 3 patients with metal-on-metal hip arthroplasty and 7 patients without any implant. They then measured serum concentrations of titanium, nickel, cobalt, and chromium.
In their conclusion, the researchers stated “The Cr and Co [chromium and cobalt] serum levels obtained from both mothers with implants and the offspring of mothers with implants are elevated in comparison to the control maternal and offspring levels. Therefore, we have concluded that Co and Cr cross the placental barrier.”
Sadly, many people have used metal-on-metal hips, particularly the recently-recalled DePuy ASR/ASRXL models unaware of risk for elevated metal ion blood levels, and potential health risks to unborn children. Because of this, a number of DePuy ASR hip replacement lawsuits have been filed. If you or a loved one used a metal-on-metal hip implant manufactured by DePuy, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of DePuy ASR hip replacement lawyers at the information provided below. We have the skills, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve.
(855) 452 – 5529
Our DePuy ASR™ / ASR™ XL Hip Replacement Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacements.