Hip reconstruction procedures have been conducted for quite some time to treat severe hip arthritis, and there is more than one procedure when reconstructing the hip. A total hip replacement involves removal of the femoral head, whereas a hip resurfacing is simply placing a mushroom shaped cap on top of the femur. For many years, hip prostheses included a socket made of polyethylene, a medical grade plastic, but more recently, models have been created wherein the polyethylene component has been replaced by a metal component. These new metal-on-metal models are advantageous because they are far more durable than the polyethylene models. One of the biggest issues with these metal-on-metal models is that there have been reports of particulate debris and ions being released into the bloodstream.
There is a growing body of evidence indicating that a local cell response is induced by the release of metallic debris and ions from metal-on-metal prosthetics. One study conducted on the immunological response to these prosthetics was conducted by MA Wimmer et al. The title of the study is “Wear Mechanisms in Metal-on-Metal Bearings: The Importance of Tribochemical Reaction Layers,” and was published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research in 2010. The researchers state “In this study, we investigated the microstructural and chemical composition of the tribochemical reaction layers forming at the contacting surfaces of metallic bearings during sliding motion.”
After careful analysis of the tissues surround the metallic prosthetics, the researchers found that the tribolayers are nanocrystalline in structure, and that there is an incorporation of organic material between the prosthetic parts. This newly formed layer of organic material hiders direct metal contact and limits wear. Discovery of this layer of material may prove critical in understanding how metallic debris and ions can end up in the blood stream.
Thankfully, this research helps the medical community better understand how wear can occur. However, many people have used metal-on-metal hip implants unaware of this risk, and as such, a number of metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits have been filed, particularly against DePuy, the manufacturer of the recently-recalled ASR™XL/ASR™ hip replacement systems.
If you or a loved one used a metal-on-metal hip replacement and suffered negative side effects as a result, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation through an ASR hip replacement lawsuit. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of DePuy hip replacement lawyers at the information provided below. We have the skills, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help!
(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.