M on M Hips: What To Know
Artificial hips have been used for years by orthopedic surgeons to replace diseased or arthritic-damaged hips. The intent is to help individuals live a more independent, painfree lifestyle. One of the most popular implant devices used is known as M on M, standing for metal-on-metal, hips. The body’s natural ball-and-socket hip joint is completely replaced with a metal device. The device consists of a ball or femoral head, plus a socket or acetabular cup.
Unfortunately, in recent years, these devices are failing at alarmingly high rates. The failure is usually caused by metal wear debris accumulating deep inside the hip joint. When this happens, a medical procedure known as a “revision” is required. During this elective surgery, doctors remove the MoM hip and replace it with a new artificial joint.
Neurological Problems – Some patients who receive metal-on-metal artificial hips report suffering various neurological symptoms complications such as headaches, memory loss, cardiac abnormalities, and a constant presence of a metallic taste, among others.
Modular Neck Fractures Can Occur
Another common reason for an artificial hip to fail is due to a modular neck fracture. During this situation, the femoral neck portion breaks into two. This can happen years after the implantation surgery. Even though these artificial hips were marketed as a way for active people to return to living a healthy, fulfilling life – these defects are regularly occurring in individuals living an active life.
When an artificial femoral neck breaks apart, the patient must undergo an emergency orthopedic surgery to remove the device. The surgeon than replaces the defective device with a new version. The surgery is a time-consuming procedure that involves extensive knowledge and technique. Additional surgeries may be needed some time in the future.
Patients must undergo a long, painful, frustrating, and arduous recovery time while recuperating from any one of these surgeries. The economic burden can be horrendous, sometimes reaching the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It is important to note that stem and modular neck fractures are not unique to MoM hips. These defects also occur in devices containing a ceramic femoral head and/or a polyethylene-lined artificial hip socket. Wright Medical Technology has been promoting its Profemur Hip System in the United States since around 2003. The modular necks and hip stems are supposed to make life less painful and easier for patients.
Since that time period, surgeons have implanted tens of thousands of these artificial devices. According to the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) and MAUDE (User Facility Device Experience) databases available, modular neck fractures are currently happening at an alarming rate. As of this date, over 200 reports of Wright Medical Profemur modular neck fractures have been filed. www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfmaude/
Common neurological complaints filed by patients receiving metal-on-metal artificial hips include memory loss, headaches, cardiac disorders, and a continuous taste of metal.
Patients trust surgeons and medical device suppliers. Reputably manufactured artificial hip stem necks are supposed to last and enhance one’s life. They are not supposed to break or corrode. Patients who experience fractures or corrosions may have a claim for compensatory damages against the manufacturer.
Know that surgeons are not responsible for the neck fractures. Some, in fact, are claiming that the devices were marketed to them in a misleading manner. Surgeons agree that the devices are defective.
If you, or a loved one, has suffered a modular neck fracture or corrosion – you must take action immediately to preserve any legal evidence. The evidence being the broken hardware removed by the surgeon. Do not compromise your case by failing to contact one of our highly qualified attorneys at the earliest possible time.