The rise of metal-on-metal hip implants was supposed to be a game changer for these orthopedic procedures, as older models had short lifetimes and required replacement often. Each surgery carries the risk of infection or medical mistake, and limiting the number of procedures needed over the course of a person’s life was intended to drastically lower the risk of negative outcomes. It did not.
The newer models, such as the Depuy and Biomet metal-on-metal designs, were sold on the promise of durability and stability, but neither proved true. Not only did these models fail at high rates, the process of failure included metal grinding on metal, with small chips and flakes of metal being released into the bloodstream, resulting in metallosis for some patients.
Metallosis occurs when these small shavings of metal build up in the body, or when their presence causes an inflammatory response. Metallosis can have a variety of symptoms, including:
- Suppressed immune system
- Dizziness and fatigue
Tinnitus is indicated by symptoms such as ringing in the ears or diminished hearing ability. It can also be indicated by sudden problems with balance indicating damage to the inner ear. Tinnitus can have a significant and lasting impact on quality of life, and in many cases the damage is not reversible. A person suffering severe tinnitus may require additional supports and therapies to maintain their job and hobbies.
If you or someone you love is suffering from tinnitus after a failed hip implant, or if you have undergone a hip replacement and believe the joint may be wearing down and contributing to an illness, please consult with an experienced attorney. A qualified lawyer can guide you through the process of having your case evaluated by experts who can help determine whether or not your hip replacement may have been a factor.