Most manufacturers have already pulled their metal-on-metal hip implants from the market due to the growing number of patient injuries. These widespread patient injuries prompted an increased regulatory focus, numerous medical studies, and negative publicity. In addition, manufacturers are also faced with thousands of product liability lawsuits from patients seeking compensation for their injuries. Some manufactures have agreed to settle these hip replacement lawsuits. For instance, DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, reportedly agreed to settle some 8,000 lawsuits for an estimated $2.5 billion.
Nearly one-third of surgeries performed in the U. S. have been with metal-on-metal hip implants over the past several years. This is a vital concern because hundreds of thousands of hip recipient’s undergo hip replacement surgery in the U.S. each year. The manufacturers of these devices taunted in the past that the chromium and cobalt pieces that make up the ball and socket joints are more durable than other similar implants.
This option became quite attractive for many younger patients with the desire to have an active lifestyle and improved quality of life. However, the metal-on-metal hip implants have recently come under fire by many critics with voiced concerns that all-metal hip implants may be responsible for tissue and bone damage. The tissue and bone damage has led to the need for revision procedures for hip recipients much sooner than surgeons originally projected. Revision procedures are not only risky for patients but costly as well.