Why do Smith Nephew Birmingham Hips fail? As the U.S. population ages, hip joint deterioration from a variety of causes has become more common-place. Hip joint deterioration leads to pain, stiffness, and difficulty walking.
Since these symptoms are progressive, patients are advised to undergo metal total hip replacement or hip resurfacing procedures.
What is a Metal on Metal hip implant?
Metal-on-Metal (MoM) hip implants consist of a ball, stem and shell, all made of metal materials. Metal-on-metal resurfacing hip systems consist of a trimmed femoral head capped with a metal covering.
MoM hip implants were supposed to offer less device material wear, lower chance of hip dislocation and a lower chance of device fracture.
What is the problem with Metal on Metal hips?
Unfortunately, all of the MoM hip manufacturers have been plagued with a catastrophic defective design, in that there are two or more articulation points where the metal components can grind against each other.
This grinding action causes the release of toxic metal debris of cobalt and chromium, which are the alloys the metal hip implant is usually made from. Metallosis occurs when the poisonous microscopic metal particles are released into the bloodstream causing an elevation of cobalt and chromium blood levels.
All of the major MOM manufacturers have faced personal injury and product liability claims over their defective design. Including DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle (made by the medical device giant Johnson & Johnson), Zimmer Durom Cup, Biomet m2A Magnum, Stryker Rejuvenate/ABG II, Encore, Wright Conserve to name a few.
Smith and Nephew Birmingham Hip
The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System is supposedly a conservative approach to hip replacement in which an all-metal bearing joint is used to preserve, rather than replace, a patient’s femoral head and neck.
BHR System was approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006. Since its introduction, there have been over 175,000 BHR implantations worldwide.
Smith & Nephew is the latest hip replacement maker to face lawsuits over defective design resulting in personal injury. Smith & Nephew issued a field-safety notice on its BHR implants in 2015, saying the implants had a higher risk of dislocation, fractures and premature failure that needed surgery to correct.
In addition, the UK-based company recalled its R3 Acetabular Hip Systems in 2012 and its Modular SMF and Modular Redapt Revision in 2016, over serious complications.
Over 200 BHR Lawsuits
According to the over 200 lawsuits, the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) system can fail prematurely causing pseudotumors, and metallosis. All of the lawsuits allege that Smith & Nephew knowingly sold the defective BHR implant and then tried to cover up signs of problems.
Case in point, according to Lydia Constantini, she developed severe pain and side effects after undergoing BHR system hip resurfacing surgery in 2008. The BHR implant failed and Constantini had to undergo a risky hip revision surgery in 2013. Her surgeon noted that she had developed metallosis and pseudotumor in her hip joint.
Federal BHR Multidistrict Litigation
In response to the increasing number of product liability lawsuits filed against Smith & Nephew over the BHR system, the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ordered they all be centralized before U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake in the District of Maryland.
There have been no trials, verdicts or settlements in the BHR cases yet.
If you think you may have Smith & Nephew Birmingham Resurfacing metal hip device and are experiencing pain caused by metal corrosion or have suffered premature hip failure requiring full revision and emergency care, please call Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm at 888-210-9693.
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Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a Texas Medical Doctor (retired) and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.