Founding Partner, Richard Schlueter, discusses the continued risks and concerns over metal-on-metal hip and knee implants in the Atlanta Journal Constitution today.
A short excerpt from the article is as follows:
Recalls and lawsuits have plagued most of the large companies that manufacture artificial hips. Many of the failures have been tied to all-metal joints that were once marketed as the best option for patients.
“There is so much competition and desire from companies to gain market share, a lot of devices have not gone through rigorous clinical trials,” said Richard Schlueter, an Atlanta attorney who has represented hundreds of clients from across the country whose artificial joints have failed.
While “metal-on-metal” joints have been the subject of most of the recalls and suits, Schlueter said failures have been associated with other joints too.
The common problem with the defective joints is that tiny pieces of metal break away from the artificial joint. That can cause damage to the nearby bone or tissue. Particles can also enter the bloodstream.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions hip replacement patients who experience pain, swelling or noise from the hip joint to contact their surgeon for evaluation.
While some doctors and hospitals may be closely watching their patients with artificial joints associated with failures, others may not, Schlueter said.
Patients who have filed lawsuits often had to undergo complicated and expensive surgeries to remove and replace defective joints.
“When these things fail,” Schlueter said, “they fail really badly.”
The insightful article written by Carrie Teegardin can be found in its entirety on AJC.com: