U.S. Drug Watchdog Urges Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Recipients to Get Blood Tests

The U.S. Drug Watchdog is a consumer advocate for victims of defective medical devices and recalled drugs in the United States. The group considers the metal-on-metal hip replacement situation the largest medical device failure in U.S. history. Additionally, the group predicts that hundreds of thousands of metal-on-metal hip implant recipients will experience or have already experienced hip implant failure.

Anyone who has received a metal hip implant is encouraged to get a blood test to determine whether their chromium or cobalt levels are elevated. Increased levels of these metals are considered the best indicators of imminent hip implant failure. Other symptoms may also be present, including difficulty walking, swelling, and pain. Ultimately, revision surgery will be necessary if a hip implant fails, but permanent damage may already be done.

There are currently several metal hip implant manufacturers under legal scrutiny, including Stryker, Biomet, Zimmer, DePuy, and Wright. DePuy’s request for a new trial after a jury returned an $8.3 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff was recently rejected.

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