Smith & Nephew Metal Hip Replacement Recall Lawsuit
Smith & Nephew R3 Metal Hip Replacement Implants Recalled
The Smith & Nephew R3 hip implant that was recalled in 2012 is an implant that has a metal liner in the acetabular cup that interfaces with a metal ball. This hip implant is similar in design to the Zimmer Durom Cup and the DePuy ASR that were also recalled in that they all have a metal on metal articulation. The R3 is even more similar to the DePuy Pinnacle Ultamet which is also a metal liner in the acetabular cup. The Biomet Magnum is another type of metal on metal hip implant.
It is estimated that approximately 500,000 metal on metal hips have been implanted in the United States. Of these only about 7,700 were Smith & Nephew R3 systems. All of the metal on metal implants are under scrutiny of the FDA for high failure rates.
Why Did Smith & Nephew Recall the R3?
Smith & Nephew says that it recalled the R3 because the company “was not satisfied with the clinical results of this component.” This means that the product did not work as well as it should have. Smith & Nephew also markets the Birmingham Hip Replacement also known as the BHR which is a hip resurfacing system. The difference being that the BHR hip resurfacing involves a metal plate or resurface put on the ball of the femur and the R3 system has a metal ball that replaces the natural ball on the end of the femur. Both systems have a metal on metal articulation. Articulation means that there is a metal ball or surface that interfaces with a metal cup or cup with a metal liner. Other systems have a plastic or ceramic interface between the ball and the cup.
Is There a Class Action Lawsuit for Patients with a Smith & Nephew R3?
There is no class action lawsuit. However, there will likely be many individual lawsuits against Smith & Nephew for R3 patients who have to have a revision surgery as a result of early failure of the R3 implant. While the failure mechanisms of the different metal on metal systems are slightly different the same legal principles apply in the lawsuits. These manufacturers are likely to be liable to pay money damages and compensation to patients under product liability laws. A manufacturer of a medical device like a hip implant is liable if the benefits of the device do not justify the complications or problems caused. Here I think there is legal liability because the ceramic and plastic hip implant systems have been successfully used for decades and work better and are safer than any of these new metal on metal hip implant systems.
What Should Hip Implant Patients Do If They Have a Recalled or Painful Hip Implant?
Patients who think they might have a metal on metal implant or who know that they have a Smith & Nephew R3, a DePuy ASR, a DePuy Pinnacle Ultamet, a Biomet Magnum, a Zimmer Durom Cup, or a Wright Conserve Cup should ask their doctor to order cobalt and chromium blood testing and X-rays to check the condition of their hip.
These individuals should also contact the Saunders & Walker law firm or other lawyers who specialize and have experience in these cases to get legal advice immediately. These metal on metal implant problems have been in the news for several years now and all states have statutes of limitations that will forever bar lawsuits for compensation if the cases are not filed in court in a timely manner.