In May of 2006, Smith & Nephew introduced the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) through the Premarket Approval (“PMA”) process.
A typical total hip replacement system consists of four separate components: 1) a femoral stem; 2) a femoral head; 3) a liner; and 4) an acetabular shell.
A resurfacing is a surgical alternative to a total hip replacement. In a resurfacing the femur is preserved and sculpted to accept a metal head, shell and a short stem, implanted into the femur. The Smith & Nephew BHR can be used in a resurfacing procedure or may be combined with a femoral stem in a total hip replacement.
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed alleging damages as a result of receiving the BHR hip. The femoral head and acetabular cup are both made out of cobalt and chromium alloys. Plaintiffs allege that the movement of the metal components inside the hip joint leads to fretting of the materials which can cause tissue necrosis, metallosis and formation of pseudotumors.
In June of 2015, Smith & Nephew withdrew the BHR device from the U.S. market due to high failure rates.
Whenever a medical device is implanted during surgery, a detachable sticker is removed from the device packaging and placed in the patient’s medical record. This sticker has a bar code and identifies the make, model, and serial number of the enclosed parts. This product identification label will tell you exactly what type of components were implanted during your hip replacement surgery. Meshbesher & Spence will obtain these product identification stickers on your behalf from the implanting hospital free of charge.
If you received a Smith & Nephew hip subject to the lawsuit, we recommend asking your doctor about a simple, inexpensive blood test to check your cobalt and chromium levels. If your levels are elevated, it could be a sign that your hip is failing. Cobalt and chromium is measured in “parts per billion” or ppb. Normal cobalt and chromium levels are less than 1ppb. Many people with Pinnacle metal inserts have been found to have cobalt and chromium many times higher than normal in their blood.
If you have elevated cobalt and chromium in your blood, your surgeon will likely order a Metal Artifact Reduction Sequence or “MARS” MRI. This is a special type of MRI that is designed to determine whether there is soft tissue damage in your hip or the development of pseudotumors (abnormal pockets of fluid). These soft tissue injuries will not show up on x-rays.
Unlike many firms who make big promises and then refer their cases to other attorneys, Meshbesher & Spence will handle your DePuy Pinnacle hip case from beginning to end.
The lawyers at Meshbesher & Spence have recovered well over $100 million for their drug and medical device clients over the past few years.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of your DePuy Pinnacle Femoral Head hip replacement component, or if you are unsure about the type of device implanted in your hip, contact Meshbesher & Spence today. Your consultation is free and you pay nothing until our Firm recovers fair compensation for you and your family.