Study Shows MRI Can Help Predict Metal-on-Metal Hip Failure

Thousands of metal-on-metal hip replacement recipients have had their implants fail – some within only a few years. Early detection of hip implant failures is difficult, and many patients simply don’t discover that there’s a problem until it’s too late. However, a new study shows that having an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can help to predict the likelihood of hip implant failure.

AAOS Study

A new study presented at the annual meeting of the 2013 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) suggests that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can provide early detection of failing, or potentially failing, metal-on-metal hip implant devices such as the recalled DePuy ASR XL system.

Researchers for AAOS reviewed MRI images for 70 patients who underwent revision surgery due to failed metal-on-metal hip implants and concluded that MRIs are very sensitive and specific to locating tissue damage resulting from metal-on-metal hip replacements. Although it may seem overly simplistic, early detection of the problem allows patients the opportunity to have another revision surgery earlier which would decrease the amount of time they suffer in pain, immobility and the growing fear of developing metallosis – toxic metal poisoning created by the friction of chromium and cobalt parts.

Great News; But Too Late For Some

While methods of earlier detection are great news for patients whose hip implants have not yet failed, it’s simply too late for the thousands of others who have had to undergo another hip implant revision surgery. This latter group comprises approximately 11,000 patients who have filed lawsuits against DePuy Orthopaedics (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) alleging that the companies knew about high failure rates, but failed to warn consumers. In fact, many of the lawsuits allege that the manufacturers put profits well above consumer safety. The first lawsuit against the manufacturers recently resulted in an $8.3 million verdict. The second trial is now underway in Illinois.

Have You Been Injured?

If you’ve been injured due to a defective DePuy metal-on-metal hip replacement – due to failure of the device or metallosis issues – contact The Driscoll Firm, LLC, to discuss your situation so that you can make an informed decision about whether taking legal action against the manufacturers is in your best interests. Consultations are free, and there is absolutely no obligation to take any legal action unless that is what you choose.

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