Numerous lawsuit continued to be filed on behalf of patients who have suffered appalling injuries and medical conditions as a result of defective metal-on-metal hip implants. One of the most disturbing conditions that can arise from a faulty hip implant system is heavy metal poisoning.
Hip Metallosis: Silent but Deadly to Healthy Tissue
In many cases, the damage is done before the patient ever realizes he or she has been poisoned. Toxic heavy metals released by the implant leech into the body, causing metallosis, which slowly kills tissue, muscle and bone surrounding the affected area. Indeed, if left untreated, metallosis may destroy the entire structure of the pelvic area around the implant, leaving the patient far worse off than he or she was before surgery.
While many defective hip implant systems can be replaced through surgery, victims of heavy metal poisoning often do not have that option. Because the tissue and surrounding area is compromised, surgeons cannot replace the implant, since there is no healthy pelvis structure to attach it to. Instead, these unfortunate patients must live in constant agony, without hope of being able to move and walk again as normal.
Hip Implant Manufacturers Put Sales Ahead of Safety
Even after multiple medical studies examining the potential problems of metal-on-metal hip implants warned about the dangers of metallosis, hip implant manufacturers forged ahead. They pushed their own studies and pushed sales despite an alleged awareness of the severe threat to patients posed by metal-on-metal implants.
Hip Implant Manufacturers: Sales over Safety
Biomet is one such manufacturer, and its hip implant system, the Biomet M2a, has allegedly caused more than one case of metallosis in patients who received the implant.
Johnson & Johnson is another. Unlike Biomet however, Johnson & Johnson issued a worldwide recall of its metal-on-metal system due to complications. Biomet by contrast allegedly continued to push sales of the M2a, hoping to capture a larger share of the market which Johnson & Johson had abandoned.
The complaint shows one medical study after another warning that Biomet M2a metal on metal implants caused traumatic complications like pseudotumors, metallosis, tissue death and higher than normal revision rates. Biomet responded by publishing counter articles saying there were “no adverse physiological effects” to metal on metal hips implants. The result: numerous patients were left with a slow-acting poison leeching into their bodies whose impact would be irreversible.