Wright Hip Replacement

By: Shannon Blanchard, Esq.

Wright hip replacements from the CONSERVE line have a metal-on-metal design that is similar to the design of the DePuy hip replacement systems that are at the center of product liability lawsuits. As is the case with those DePuy hip replacement systems, the Wright hip replacements are causing serious problems that are leading patients to seek compensation through product liability lawsuits.

Design Flaws

A metal-on-metal hip replacement has a metal cup that mimics the natural hip socket. Inside that metal cup is the metal ball, which mimics the natural hip ball. As a person walks, the ball moves within the cup. Because the Wright hip replacement has a metal ball moving in a metal cup, tiny metal shards wear off as the person moves. Those tiny shards are then released into the hip space, which can cause significant pain. In some cases, these tiny shards might even enter the blood stream.

While it might be possible for surgeons to minimize the amount of rubbing in the hip socket, it isn't possible for the rubbing to be stopped. For that reason, it is virtually impossible to stop the metal shards from being shaved off as the patient walks.

Potential Injuries

There are several different reactions that can occur when these Wright hip replacement systems begin to release metal shards into the body. One of the effects is call an adverse reaction, which occurs when the local tissue reacts in a negative manner to the metal particles. This can lead to swelling and related problems.

There is a chance that the metal fragments might become trapped in the hip area. This can lead to bone and tissue damage in the area surrounding the Wright hip replacement system.

Another possible injury that might occur in a patient who has a metal-on-metal hip replacement system occurs when the metal shards enter the blood stream. Those patients can experience problems with the nervous system, heart, or thyroid, according to FindLaw.

Pain and difficulty moving are also possible when these metal particles are shaved from the hip replacement system. In some cases, the implant can become loose, which can also cause severe pain. In that case, the patient is forced to endure another surgery, more pain, another lengthy recovery, and more medical bills.

Patient Rights

Since it has been established that there isn't a way to stop the metal shards from being rubbed off of the metal-on-metal hip replacement systems, patients might opt to seek compensation for their injuries and related expenses. To do this, the patient must file a claim for compensation through a product liability lawsuit under a defective medical devices law since the issue with the Wright hip replacement system is because of insufficient device testing or a design or manufacturing defect.

Seeking compensation for defective medical devices involves knowing how to apply the laws pertaining to these defective products to a specific case. It also involves having to prove the connection between the injuries and the device. Personal injury lawyers who are familiar with these types of cases likely have the expert witnesses and other necessary support to help patients present their case in an effective manner.