Pursuing Product Liability Claim due to a Defective and Injurious Medical Product

In 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular metal-on-metal (MoM) hip replacement. This artificial medical product was intended as a longer and lasting alternative to metal-on-plastic and metal-on-ceramic hip replacement systems. Compared to the other two hip joint replacement products, this metal-on-metal hip replacement had higher resistance against deterioration and was designed to withstand more vigorous activities; thus, doctors saw it as as a more sound choice for younger and more active patients.

The hip joint, also called the ball and socket joint, is one largest joints in the human body. Its major function is to provide support to the upper body by supporting the upper body’s full weight while standing, walking, running, bending or stretching.

Full weight support and performance of regular activities (without experiencing pain), however, are possible only if the hip is completely healthy; once an injury or a disease damages the hip joint a person’s movements will definitely be affected.

Examples of injuries and diseases that can damage the hip joint include; a forceful blow, such as one created in motor vehicle accidents; falls, which can cause hip fracture; osteoarthritis, or wear and tear arthritis, which can result to the painful rubbing of the bones; and, rheumatoid arthritis, which is a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking the joints’ lining, causing inflammation in these joints. Though the hip is supported by strong and large thigh muscles, this it can be damaged if a person experiences any of the factors indicated above.

A damaged hip joint can cause persistent pain and can make daily activities quite challenging to perform. To correct this medical condition and so relieve patients from so much pain, doctors, since the 1960s, have recommended hip replacement surgery using a prosthesis, which is an artificial joint. A prosthesis is meant to improve the quality of patient’s lives and the function of their hips.

Hip replacement systems, however, had parts that rub against one another, discharging tiny particles inside its host’s body in the process. This problem was a more serious case where the metal-on-metal hip replacement product was used and, in order to correct the problem created, a reconstructive or replacement surgery was usually necessitated to repair joint failure and tissues damaged by the device.

Besides joint failure and tissue damage, the metal-on-metal hip replacement also caused: Metallosis or metal poisoning; Osteolysis or bone loss; Systemic metallosis or the inflammation of the whole body due to presence of metal ions; Pseudotumors or the development of tumor-like deposits around affected joints; and, Bone fracture, which is the weakening of the bones surrounding the hip implant resulting to their breakage.

As explained by a Wausau personal injury attorney, any kind of product, but more specifically, medical devices and drugs, should be clinically tested first to fully determine their safety and effectivity. If a medical device ends up causing harm to any patient, then this patient should think of filing a product liability claim against the defective product’s manufacturer to recover compensation for his/her injuries.

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