If you’ve had a hip implant and are experiencing pain, swelling or other issues, you could be having metal-on-metal hip complications. In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that metal-on-metal hip implants could erode enough through normal wear and tear to release toxic amounts of certain metals into the bloodstream.
Cobalt is a trace mineral found in vitamin B12. It is found naturally in the human body, and is essential for growth and maintenance because it has a role in the production of red blood cells. However, high levels of Cobalt in the body become toxic, and that leads to significant harmful side-effects. An excessive amount of Cobalt in the bloodstream could lead to inflammation that damages tissue and bone. When metal particles begin to be shed into the body, it can cause metallosis, or metal poisoning.
One reason why orthopedic surgeons like metal-on-metal hip replacements is because they tend to last longer than those with plastic or ceramic parts. However, inherent in any joint replacement device is the fact that a ball-and-socket mechanism would cause friction and wear because the parts rub together as the patient moves through the normal activities of daily life. This could be exacerbated when a patient performs more rigorous physical activity. Some common symptoms of a metal-on-metal hip failure include: pain in the hip, leg or groin; swelling at or near the hip joint; limping or trouble walking; and popping or clicking noises from the joint. These, though, are just the initial effects of actual metal-on-metal hip failure. Metallosis that is caused by metal-on-metal hip implants can be far more severe and includes complications like:
- Heart failure
- Depression or anxiety
- Blindness or visual impairment
- Skin rashes
- Nerve damage
- Deafness or other hearing impairment
- Thyroid issues
- Cognitive impairment
- Tissue or bone death (necrosis)
What do I do if I am experiencing metal-on-metal hip complications?
If you believe that you are experiencing side-effects from metal-on-metal hip replacements, you could ask your doctor for a blood test to detect possible metallosis. If you’ve had metal-on-metal hip replacements (either a primary surgery or a revision) and you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, even if they seem unrelated to your metal-on-metal hip implants, it would be worthwhile to test the levels of metal in your blood.
Did you know that there are elevated levels of Cobalt in the blood of anyone who has had metal-on-metal hip implants? The metal will be present in your blood, joint fluid, urine and hair — even if you’re not seeing symptoms of metallosis. And, like a lot of conditions, metallosis affects different people in various ways. You might be more able to tolerate a high level of cobalt than someone else who has had metal-on-metal hip replacements, but that’s why it’s so important to be aware of the symptoms and have your blood tested.
Will my insurance pay for revision surgery from metal-on-metal hip complications?
That depends. Some insurance companies will consider a revision to be medically necessary if your symptoms meet certain criteria. But, what if you don’t have insurance? Your metal-on-metal hip replacements could be poisoning your body and causing you pain, but a revision would be tens of thousands of dollars.
That’s why you need McIntyre Law. Our experienced team of lawyers has been working for years with clients who have suffered from metal-on-metal hip complications. We’re going to get you the compensation you need to do whatever it takes to become healthier, more mobile and pain-free. Contact us today for a free consultation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]