DePuy Hip Implants Recalled Due To High Revision Rates.

Chromium and Cobalt Poisoning

Patients who have received a DePuy ASR hip replacement or other metal-on-metal hip replacements may be at risk of health problems caused by metal particles shed by these devices. These loose metal fragments can cause pain at the site of the implant and may put some patients at risk of chromium or cobalt poisoning, both problems that may necessitate revision surgery.

Metal-on-metal hip implants are comprised of a metal ball and metal cup which slide against each other as the patient moves. This contact can cause tiny metal particles to become loose in the area around the device. Over time, these metal fragments can accumulate near the site of the implant, causing damage to nearby bone and tissue. Loose metal particles may also lead to a buildup of fluid and cells around the device known as pseudotumors. When this damage causes the implant to become loose, the device may need to be replaced.

In some patients, these metal fragments can enter the bloodstream, putting them at risk of chromium or cobalt poisoning. High concentrations of chromium or cobalt in the bloodstream can cause problems to the heart, nervous system or thyroid gland, which may necessitate additional treatment.

Depending on the health of the patient, cobalt or chromium poisoning may cause symptoms that affect different organs of the body, which can include:

  • Heart: chest pain, shortness of breath
  • Nervous system: numbness, weakness, hearing or vision problems
  • Thyroid gland: tiredness, coldness, weight gain
  • Kidneys: changes in urination

In extreme cases, chromium or cobalt poisoning may cause blindness, deafness, heart failure or other serious symptoms. Patients with kidney problems may develop excess levels of metal in their bloodstream even in the absence of localized pain due to the inability of their kidneys to rid the body of normal levels of metal particles. As with patients who have developed loose implants as a result of nearby metal particles, patients with cobalt or chromium poisoning may require revision surgery for their hip replacement in order to treat their symptoms.

If you or a loved one suffered chromium or cobalt poisoning or other problems caused by a faulty DePuy ASR implant or other metal-on-metal hip replacement, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation, contact the lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP by calling toll-free at 1-866-275-4454, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.

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