Recent studies have shown that patients who have received the Wright Pro Femur and Wright Conserve Plus hip replacement systems often experience early failure and femoral neck fractures.
Specifically, both of these hips are “metal on metal” hips that have recently been the subject of much controversy. Under certain conditions, metal on metal hips have been shown to release metal particles into the hip joint and surrounding tissue. When this occurs, patients can experience significant pain in the hip joint that is caused by the body’s reaction to the metal particles being released into the hip. This condition is known as “metallosis” and can often result in permanent damage to the hip joint.
Additionally, patients with increased cobalt and chromium in their blood face the risk of systemic, long-term health issues that may include hypothyroidism, heart problems, and cancer. (For more information about the problems associated with increased levels of cobalt and chromium please visit our cobalt and chromium toxicity resource center.)
What is most concerning to the medical community about the situation with metal on metal hips is that many patients experience no symptoms at all despite having highly elevated cobalt and chromium levels in their blood. In fact, many patients with cobalt and chromium levels that are more than 100 times normal have reported experiencing no symptoms whatsoever. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms develop, it may be too late.
As a result of this situation, many doctors are now recommending that all patients with metal on metal hips have their blood levels tested regularly to determine if they are risk. Health regulators in the UK recently declared that all patients with metal on metal hip implants should have their blood levels monitored for the life of their hip replacement.
If you have a metal on metal hip, we strongly urge you to discuss these recommendations with your doctor.
To date, there have been hundreds of adverse event reports submitted to the FDA reporting problems with Wright metal on metal hips. Additionally, a 2008 annual report issued by the Australian National Joint Replacement Registry showed that the Wright ProFemur Hip had a cumulative revision rate of 11.2% at three years. This is more than 3 times the revision rate for comparable hips.
Medical device attorneys at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff are currently investigating potential cases on behalf of individuals with Wright Medical, metal on metal hips. If you have a Wright Pro Femur or Wright Conserve Plus metal on metal hip implant, please feel free to contact us for a free evaluation of your case.