Medicine is an area where new advances are being made on a regular basis that lead to better care and treatment for patients. However, this means that in some cases, patients who received older forms of treatment develop unforeseen complications, particularly in the area of Illinois defective medical devices. Consider the case of patients receiving metal-on-metal hip replacements. Once considered the norm, these types of hip replacements are now leading to an increase in problems for patients.
A recent editorial in The Journal of Arthroplasty, a medical journal for orthopedic surgeons, urge doctors to use metal-on-metal devices only with “great caution, if at all.” This comes on the heels of reports that metal-on-metal hip replacement procedures create tiny particles of debris that can damage soft tissue and bone.
Recent studies that estimated that anywhere from one to three percent of hip implant recipients could be affected by the problem, however, given the large number of people who have received metal devices the number could actually be dealing with thousands of patients in the United States who have been affected by defective medical devices.
All hip devices, regardless of the material, create debris as the ball rotates and rubs against the socket. But in metal-on-metal hips, perhaps because of a defective medical device design or poor implant technique, the ball can sometimes press against the cup’s edge. This creates a chisel-like effect referred to as “edge-loading” that may produce large volumes of microscopic metallic particles that can cause problems with patients.
And while dislocation and other reasons account for a greater degree of replacements of artificial hips than metallic debris, the use of metal-on-metal implants over the last year has been reduced by 80% in most surgical settings. This is in part due to reports by surgeons when metal particles are the culprit of artificial hip problems, that the replacement procedures tend be far more complex. And in some cases, the patients are left with lasting complications.
Surgeons at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have performed about two dozen replacement procedures for metal-on-metal artificial hips. According to Rush surgeon Dr. Levine, he has been replacing metal-on-metal devices at the rate of one a month.
As the medical community continues to grow and learn more about medical devices, treatment plans for patients change. What was considered the standard of care ten years ago does not necessarily hold true today. As patients we need to make sure that our physicians are up to date on the standard medical practices as well as new advances being made so that we make sure we are getting the best care possible.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois defective medical device cases for over 30 years, serving those areas in and around Cook County, including Wheeling, Lake Forest, Naperville, and Cicero.
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