Joint Replacement Claims

There were 1.69 million joint replacements performed in the UK from 2003-2015 according to the National Joint Registry. The vast majority of these joints provide an increased range of movement and freedom from pain, but in some instances, the joint replacement surgery does not provide the expected results due to issues with the prosthesis. When this happens, the effects can be devastating. Loss of function and pain are the most common symptoms, but bone loss and other more serious symptoms can also happen.

Our team has many years’ experience successfully winning joint replacement claims.

The team maintains a top ranking in both independent legal directories, Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

Our lawyers have successfully recovered compensation for victims of a broad range of joint replacement issues.

Hip replacement claims

DePuy hips

We are investigating DePuy ASR hip compensation claims. Currently, our DePuy ASR hip solicitors represent more than 100 patients who wish to claim personal injury compensation after having the controversial metal on metal DePuy ASR hip implanted. Contact us today for free initial advice and guidance on making a compensation claim, without obligation.

Depuy hip compensation claims

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. is the manufacturer of metal on metal hip replacements, ASR hip replacement system, and ASR hip resurfacing systems.

DePuy ASR hip replacement implants have been in clinical use in the UK since July 2003. However, following the discovery that the revision rate of these systems is higher than expected, DePuy has now issued a recall of the products. This includes the ASR hip replacement system and ASR hip resurfacing systems.

Our Depuy hip experience

DePuy’s recall includes funding the costs of investigation and treatment and patient’s expenses. However, in conjunction with a handful of other law firms across Britain, Hugh James has been negotiating for the payment of compensation for all of the effects of having these implants treatments.

This compensation may include the payment of loss of earnings or nursing care. In addition, the claim will include an independent review of the long-term effects of the implant and its revision.

We are currently representing patients who have been part of this recall and have either had their DePuy implants replaced or are being investigated to determine if they will need to.

 


DePuy ASR – European Union Claims

We are currently representing claimants from the European Union who wish to pursue claims against DePuy International Limited who recalled its ASR Hip resurfacing and XL total hip replacements after the devices suffered a higher level of failure than expected.

In 2010 senior executives of DPIL and Depuy Orthopaedics Inc., concluded after an internal review that the ASR systems were defective products.  The market action strategy recommended was identified as “Class A”, reserved for a “defective product that would affect product performance and/or could cause health problems”.  It was found that they tended to cause an adverse reaction to metal debris (“ARMD”) with a consequential need for revision surgery.

On the basis of an earlier High Court decision in relation to foreign ASR claims, claimants from the European Union if successful will be entitled to compensation under the law of England and Wales.  That is often higher than is the case in many European jurisdictions.

A recent application for a group litigation order (GLO), a form of class action, was unsuccessful on the basis that there are currently insufficient numbers of claims to warrant the making of the order. However, claimants will still be able to bring their claims in their own right. The court has given permission for the application to be reinstated in the event that there are further claimants who wish to come forward to pursue the claims.

Whether or not a GLO is eventually ordered Hugh James will accept instructions from European Union claimants and/or their lawyers to prosecute such claims and can act on a no win, no fee agreement, subject to conditions.

Zimmer hip implant claims

What is the Zimmer Hip Replacement?

Zimmer is a manufacturer of a number of hip replacement devices and parts. In 2003, Zimmer introduced the Zimmer Durom range to the UK hip replacement market. These products included the Zimmer Durom Cup with a Metasul Head and Zimmer stem, which acted as a total hip replacement, and the Zimmer Durom Cup, fitted alongside a Zimmer Durom femoral component which was a hip resurfacing implant.

Existing hip replacement products were limited in size and shape and required surgeons to fit the bone to the replacement hip, rather than the replacement to the bone. Smaller device heads didn’t provide the range of motion needed for an active lifestyle, and while larger device heads did provide a greater range of motion, they also caused more wear and tear on the hip replacement device, which affected the durability of these hip replacements. The Zimmer hip replacement aimed to solve these problems by supposedly allowing more durability and motion than other hip replacement products. The Durom Cup also featured ‘fins’, which aimed to prevent instability and cup loosening by locking the implant into the bone, encouraging the bone to grow into the cup and fuse it in place, eliminating the need for screws or cement.

Hugh James is one of four law firms who have been appointed by the court under a Group Litigation Order (GLO) to represent those who have been affected by illness or injury following a hip operation using Zimmer Metasul Large Diameter Head and Durom Metal on Metal Hip replacements. In total over 90 claimants are proceeding with claims against the manufacturers, Zimmer GmbH and Zimmer Limited based in Switzerland and Swindon, rather than the hospitals that implanted the hip replacement.

The Zimmer hip was designed to provide higher levels of mobility and durability to the patients who received it.  However, the Zimmer Metasul and Zimmer Durom Metal on Metal Hip replacements have experienced higher levels of failure than expected.  A typical hip implant should have a failure rate no higher than 3.5% over a seven-year period; the Zimmer hip implants have experienced a rate of 9.45%.

Common problems associated with the Zimmer hip implant

The main problems associated with the Zimmer hip implants include cup loosening and metal wear.

Cup loosening is a significant problem for patients as it leads to instability of the hip joint, which can leave patients in a lot of pain and leads to lower levels of mobility.  The other problem associated the Durom hip replacement is metal wear.  Many patients who had the Durom hip replacement fitted suffered from an adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD), where particles of metal from the  Durom hip components were produced entered their bloodstream.

Patients who received defective Zimmer hip implants may experience the following physical symptoms:

  • Pain or aching in the hip joint and groin;
  • Reduced mobility; and/or
  • Difficulty sleeping.

Some patients who have Zimmer hip implants may not experience any physical symptoms of failure.

Abnormal blood test results and x-rays can also be signs of a defective Zimmer hip implant. If you’re suffering from any of the above symptoms you should contact your doctor for advice.

Making a claim for faulty Zimmer Implants

If you believe your health has suffered as a result of being implanted with a faulty Zimmer hip component, unfortunately, the deadline issued by the high court to join the group register to take action against Zimmer closed on 30 October 2015. Therefore, you would not be able to proceed with a claim if you have been implanted with a faulty Zimmer hip component. However, if you are unsure of the make, model or manufacturer of your hip component you can still speak to any member of our specialist hips team over the phone for free, initial advice. We can either take further details over the phone or if you would prefer, a member of our hips team can arrange to meet you in person, at a time and place to suit you to determine if you have a claim against one of the other hip component manufacturers. We can offer a no win, no fee arrangement on your case.

Elbow replacement claims

DePuy Synthes Radial Head elbow prosthesis system

The implant is manufactured by Synthes GmbH, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. The company has issued an Urgent Medical Device Field Safety Notification stating that if the radial stem becomes loose post-operatively, the following may occur:

  • device loosening;
  • osteolysis (loss of bone);
  • poor joint mechanics;
  • pain;
  • bone fracture; or
  • soft tissue damage (soft tissue irritation).

The company has removed the  DePuy Synthes Radial Head Prosthesis Stem from the global market.

Surgeons have been advised to stop implanting the device immediately and to identify and advise that if you have been implanted with an affected device then you should contact your surgeon if you develop symptoms such as pain, loss of function or instability.

After contacting your surgeon, you should contact the Harmful Products team at Hugh James to find out if you are eligible to make a claim.

In addition, they have advised that you should be monitored at 6 monthly intervals for up to 2 years post-implantation, with both clinical and radiographic assessments to identify possible loosening of the radial stem.

Even if you haven’t been identified with loosening of your implant, you should continue to be monitored at six-monthly intervals for progressive osteolysis (including the potential risk of fracture), or the development of symptoms needing surgery to replace the implant.

In 2015, 655 elbow replacement procedures were performed in the UK according to the National Joint Registry an increase of just over 12% on the previous year.

If you have had a DePuy Synthes Radial Head Prosthesis System implanted at any point since 2015 when they were introduced in the UK and you have required or still require follow up  surgery to address issues with the implant, you may be eligible to make a claim against the manufacturer and should get in touch to find out more.

Other types of joint replacement claims

There are a variety of other types of defective joint implants that you may be able to make a claim for.

If you have had joint replacement surgery where the implant has broken down much sooner than expected, you may be eligible to claim.

Typical symptoms of joint implant failure include:

  • Pain or aching in the joint and surrounding area;
  • Reduced mobility; and
  • Difficulty sleeping.

Over time, having a defective implant can lead to severe medical consequences including:

  • The need for early or additional surgery;
  • Metal particles from the implant causing pain, swelling or soft tissue damage;
  • Loss of function after revision surgery; and
  • Pain and stress.

Your questions answered

1. Do I need to get my joint prosthesis replaced?

The answer to this question depends on the severity of your symptoms and the extent of the damage being caused by the replacement joint.

Typical symptoms of joint implant failure include:

  • Pain or aching in the joint and surrounding area;
  • Reduced mobility; and
  • Difficulty sleeping.

If you experience any of these symptoms then your first course of action should be to contact your doctor for advice. Be sure to ask them what make and model of joint prosthesis you have.

Your next course of action should be to contact our Harmful Products team to see if you have a claim.

Some patients who have defective joint implants may not experience any physical symptoms of failure. Abnormal blood test results and x-rays can also be signs of a defective implant.

2. Am I eligible to make a claim?

Replacement joints do not typically last as long as natural joints do. Because of this, not all joint implants are eligible to claim. If a particular type of replacement joint experiences higher than expected rates of failure then patients may be able to claim.

The best way to be sure is by having a conversation with a specialist solicitor who will know which implants and what scenarios qualify to claim. The Harmful Products team at Hugh James is always just an email or a phone call away.

3. How long do I have to make a claim?

Claims for defective products must be brought within 10 years of the date that the product left the control of the manufacturer and was put into circulation. This is usually shortly after the date of manufacture. Claims must also be brought within 3 years of the patient gaining knowledge that their hip has failed.

4. Who will be handling my joint replacement claim?

Mark Harvey is the head of the harmful products team and specialises in faulty consumer product cases. Mark has obtained compensation for many individual victims of common but defective consumer products. Mark is the court-appointed lead solicitor coordinating over 1,000 claimants in actions arising out of the recall and health alert relating to the French manufacturer’s PIP breast products. He is also responsible for leading claims concerning various injuries and complaints from medical devices including Zimmer and De Puy hip prostheses.

Mark is regularly called upon by leading bodies and the media to provide legal comment on faulty product cases. Mark leads a team of specialist lawyers all of whom are experienced in pursuing these types of cases. Anyone of them will be happy to provide advice about making a claim for a defective joint implant.

5. How do I know what kind of implant I have?

If you received an implant that there is a known problem with then you are probably already being monitored regularly by your doctor to track the extent of the damage being caused by your defective implant. Regular blood tests can detect abnormal levels of metal in the blood which will indicate if the implants are causing an adverse reaction. If you have had a joint replacement, but are worried or unsure which type you have had implanted, you should contact your doctor for advice.

When components are implanted into a patient a product label will be documented in a patient’s hospital records. The component labels will record the identity of the manufacturer and all batch and reference numbers. This information is also entered on a central register at the National Joint Registry (NJR). Patients can obtain the information from the hospital they received treatment from or the NJR.




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