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Faulty hip replacements can cause long-term injuries

Recently, the faulty metal-on-metal hip replacement joints manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, a unit of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson, have become the subject of scrutiny and debate after causing pain and injury to thousands of patients. According to a few new studies, those defective products may continue to cause harm long after they are removed from the body.

It is estimated that about 500,000 people in Bergen County and throughout the country have metal-on-metal hip joints. They are often used in younger patients who wish to remain active after their joint replacement.

However, researchers have found that hip replacement patients offer suffer unintended consequences when the friction caused by the movement of metal implant pieces against one another can cause metal debris to break off. This debris enters the bloodstream and becomes lodged in tissue and bone near the joint, causing inflammation and even heart and nervous system issues.

These results often last for several years after the joint is removed or repaired. In a recent study, nearly one-fourth of patients who underwent revision surgery experienced "worsening symptoms," and about one-third required additional surgery.

Even if patients are not experiencing those negative results, metal-on-metal implants have been shown to have a higher rate of failure despite manufacturer claims that they last for 15 years. Common signs of joint failure or malfunction include pain, swelling, or the onset of a limp.

If you have suffered long-term injuries after the implantation of a faulty hip replacement joint, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: USA Today, "Faulty hip implants may cause long-term health, joint damage," Janice Lloyd, Feb. 8, 2012

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