FDA Warns Consumers Metal Hip Implants are Causing Injury

To many elderly people, a slip and fall could cause serious injury.  In many cases, these elderly people break bones in their fall, including breaking their hip.  This is a traumatic injury which not only limits people's mobility, but can cause additional injuries.  To prevent additional injury and to preserve freedom and autonomy, many opt to receive a hip implant.

There are various kinds of hip implants, but recently, the most common hip implant has been metal hip implants.  These metal hip implants commonly act like a ball and a cup, aiding movement.  Approximately 1 in 3 joint replacement surgeries in the United States have utilized metal hip implants.  To date, that accounts for over 500,000 patients with metal hip implants. 

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a safety communication warning consumers of the danger for injury with metal hip implants.  Under their new expanded authority from Congress, the FDA is seeking to protect consumers from injury and close former loopholes that existed in the law. 

The Danger of Metal Hip Implants

According to the FDA, metal hip implants have been failing at alarming rates.  Thousands of consumers have experienced additional injury because their metal hip implants have been failing almost immediately after implantation.  These metal hip implant failures have injured patients, causing a need for more expensive surgery to take out and replace the item.  Unfortunately, many elderly patients are too fragile for major surgery like this.  

Doctors have reported these metal hip implants have not only failed in the joint, but they have additionally injured consumers when its metal debris is released as the joint moves.  These injuries have included: 

How the FDA Seeks to Protect Consumers from Injury

The FDA is now pursuing regulations that would force metal hip manufacturers to produce data to support their claims of safety and effectiveness.  To date, these products have largely exploited a 1976 law which allowed manufacturers to introduce products for approval which are substantially similar to another product on the market.  Under this law, the FDA alleges manufacturers did a disservice to consumers by failing to do extended testing on device safety over the years.  

The FDA is seeking to make serious regulatory changes this year, and one of their first targets is the metal hip implants that are failing.  Until these devices are either recalled or modified safely, many consumers are still experiencing high rates of injury.  If you have been injured  by your metal hip implant, please call a skilled product liability attorney for help.  You may be eligible for compensation. Get the help that you need and deserve to protect your health.