People undergo hip replacement surgery because they believe it will improve the quality of their lives. But what if a medical device does the opposite? What if it causes irreparable harm instead of alleviating suffering? That’s what happened with the Encore Hip Replacement.
Instead of helping patients, the defective Encore metal-on-metal hip implant has caused severe injuries, resulting in chronic pain and long-lasting medical problems. As a result, many people around the country have filed hip replacement lawsuits against the manufacturer, alleging that the company put profits ahead of patient welfare.
The Encore Hip Replacement features a “poly sandwich” design, which calls for a unique metal-on-metal construction. When the metal ball (or femoral component) rubs against the chromium and cobalt liner, it creates friction. That abrasive action of the neck and stem releases tiny metal particles, which accumulate around the joint, causing pain, swelling, and fluid buildup.
In serious cases, the cobalt and chromium debris can find its way into the bloodstream, giving rise to a potentially life-threatening condition known as metallosis, or metal poisoning. When tiny pieces of cobalt and chromium make their way through the patient’s body, they can damage organs such as the heart and the kidneys, or even give rise to systemic problems such as thyroid dysfunction and depression.
Over time, metal debris buildup around the joint and in the bloodstream can lead to a number of serious side effects, such as:
In many cases, revision surgery is needed to correct problems associated with the metal-on-metal hip replacement. This inflicts more pain, presents further health risks and places a substantial financial burden on patients and their families.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Encore Hip Replacement in 2013 as part of its “grandfather” provisions, which allow for less rigorous inspection standards for new devices that bear some similarities to existing products. Essentially, the government fast-tracked the approval process.
That decision was a mistake. It ignored fundamental differences between the Encore Hip Implant and other “similar” products, the most important of which was the increased use of metal on metal. In light of recent evidence, the FDA has backtracked and issued warnings about possible complications related to the hip implant.
The responsibility for the medical device defect lies with Encore Medical, a manufacturer that’s now owned by DJO Orthopedics. By failing to conduct a thorough study of the metal hip implant, and by refusing to warn patients of the risks, the company knowingly put ordinary people in danger. This callous disregard for the health and safety of patients led to preventable injuries and unnecessary suffering.
If you’ve suffered an adverse event after being implanted with Encore’s defective product, you may be able to file an Encore Hip Implant lawsuit against DJO Orthopedics.
At Saunders & Walker P.A, we’re currently accepting cases related to defective metal-on-metal hip implants. We’ve dedicated our careers to helping victims of unscrupulous corporations and manufacturers, and we’ll bring the same passion for advocacy to your case. Call our law firm at 1-800-748-7115 to learn more about the Encore Hip Implant lawsuit, and to speak with a defective hip implant lawyer.