Research shows that metal-on-metal hip replacements, a category that includes the Cormet Hip Resurfacing System, fail at a higher-than-normal rate. Among the possible side effects are pain, swelling, and metal poisoning. The Rottenstein Law Group, a Cormet hip replacement law firm, compassionately advocates for those who have suffered Cormet hip replacement failures. If you received a Cormet hip replacement and believe it harmed you, contact RLG for a free, confidential legal consultation immediately. We will evaluate your case and remain on the lookout for Cormet hip replacement recalls and Cormet hip replacement class action lawsuits.
What Is the Cormet Hip Replacement?
British orthopedics company the Corin Group manufactures the Cormet Hip Resurfacing System and American orthopedics company Stryker, Inc., distributes it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Cormet hip replacement for implantation in recipients in July 2007. Unlike older hip replacements that used ceramic or plastic components, the Cormet hip replacement uses only metal components. According to the FDA description of metal-on-metal hip implants systems, manufacturers designed metal-on-metal devices for younger and physically active patients because metal outlasts other materials, they require less bone removal, and the chance of device fracture or dislocation is lower than for other types.
The Cormet Hip Resurfacing System is not a traditional total hip replacement. Those remove the head of the femur (thigh bone) and insert a stem and metal head into the femur itself. These components connect to a metal cup inserted into the hip. By contrast, the Cormet hip replacement is a resurfacing hip replacement. These remove only part of the femoral head and place a shorter stem and artificial head in its place. This connects to a metal acetabular cup placed in the hip socket. This method results in less removed bone than a total hip replacement.
All hip replacements lose particles as the femoral and acetabular components interact. In plastic components this can lead to bone loss. In metal-on-metal hip replacements, the damage can be much greater. According to the New York Times, the body’s scavenger cells ingest and process the metal flakes into metal ions. These ions then chemically react with surrounding tissues, which amplifies the immune system’s response. In a matter of years tissue damage, bone loss, implant failure, and other symptoms of metal toxicity from excess cobalt and chromium ions can occur. So great is the risk that in May 2011 the FDA required all manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip replacements to submit safety evaluations of their implants.
These manufacturers obtained FDA approval to sell their devices by using the FDA’s 510(k) pre-market approval process. This allowed them to obtain approval without submitting their devices to clinical trials. Moreover, the United States does not have an artificial joint replacement registry, as Australia and the United Kingdom do. These two countries’ registries helped alert authorities to the dangers these devices pose. In September 2011, the New York Times reported that the National Joint Registry of England and Wales released its Annual Report, which in Table 3.10 indicated that all-metal resurfacing hip replacements required revision twice as often as non-all-metal implants one year after surgery.
In July 2011, Stryker Orthpaedics, which distributes the Cormet hip replacement, announced it would cease distribution of the Cormet hip resurfacing system because it “no longer fits within Stryker’s long-term product strategy.”
Cormet Hip Replacement Might Cause Metal Poisoning
The FDA describes several symptoms of hip replacement failure. The following occur soon after surgery:
- Pain in the groin, hip, or leg;
- Swelling at or near the hip joint; and
- A limp or change in walking ability.
These symptoms often precede hip implant failure or metal poisoning. All-metal hip replacements often contain two toxic metals, cobalt and chromium. Poisoning by these two metals can cause debilitating physical and mental states. Chromium poisoning causes these symptoms:
- Persistent pain that can be felt anywhere in the body, especially in muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues;
- Chronic malaise, meaning fatigue, lethargy, discomfort, or sickness;
- Food allergies;
- Gastrointestinal upset;
- Dizziness and headaches;
- Emotional unbalance such as feelings of anxiety, mood swings, and depression;
- “Brain fog,” a condition describing confusion and forgetfulness; and
- Nerve damage with symptoms such as tingling, tremors, burning, or numbness in extremities.
With cobalt poisoning, additional problems include skin rashes, hyperthyroidism, heart problems, loss of sensory capabilities (sight, hearing, etc.), and loss of cognitive capabilities.
RLG’s Cormet Hip Replacement Lawyers Will Make Things Easier
The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The Cormet hip replacement lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that obtaining legal satisfaction from those who harmed you shouldn’t require more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process, and we will file a Cormet hip replacement lawsuit on your behalf if necessary. RLG will also keep you up to date on any Cormet hip replacement class action lawsuits, FDA Cormet hip replacement warnings, and Cormet hip replacement FDA recall announcements. If you received Cormet Hip Resurfacing System and believe it harmed you, contact RLG today.