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New Hope For Hip Implant Patients?

Posted on in Food Poisoning

1 in 10 hip replacement surgeries fail, forcing the patient to undergo risky revision surgery. If the hip implant fails, it usually infects the bone. In the subsequent osteotomy, the doctor must remove both the defective implant and the infected bone. That bone loss makes the revision surgery a very low-percentage gamble, because there is not enough remaining healthy bone to anchor a second implant.

Some doctors say that a temporary spacer increases the success rate. The bone cement is laced with antibiotics, thus treating the infection without removing as much bone. Now, researchers in the United States and China have used a 3D printer to make a biometric sheath from hydroxyapatite and calcium phosphate and create a more custom fit.

In the near future, doctors hope to optimize the design, making the new spacer more like natural bone tissue.

Hip Implants

Following the lead of manufacturers like DePuy and Styker, many companies began making Metal on Metal (MoM) hip implants in the 1970s and 1980s. These devices were touted as more durable than Plastic on Metal (POM) implants, and thus more desirable for patients who were still physically active. A number of these implants have been recalled, and for good reason.

A natural or MoM hip is essentially a ball-and-socket joint. As the metal parts continually rub against each other, tiny metal fragments begin to flake off. In as little as five or six years – far less time than the device is normally expected to last – a number of patients develop severe metallosis.

Metal poisoning is one of the most destructive ailments that a person can contract. In this case, these metal fragments enter directly into the patient's bloodstream and become embedded in the neighboring bone tissue. MoM-induced metallosis is a progressive condition. Common symptoms include:

  • Inflammation: The body's natural response to infection is to send more blood to the impacted area. Many patients report a dull, persistent, throbbing pain as bone tissues swell.

  • Bone and Tissue Death: If the body is unable to fight the infection on its own, as is normally the case, the surrounding tissue eventually dies. The metal fragments may then move to other parts of the body, including some vital organs.

  • Implant Failure: When there is no longer enough healthy tissue to anchor the MoM device, the implant shifts and may become entirely dislodged.

Damages in a defective hip implant case can include compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.

If you had a full or partial hip replacement and are experiencing pain, contact an experienced Arlington Heights defective medical device attorney today for a free phone consultation. You have a limited amount of time to act.

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