Many recipients of Smith & Nephew’s Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System are suing the manufacturer because of side effects they allege the devices caused them.
What Is the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System?
Hip resurfacing is a different type of hip replacement procedure from traditional total hip replacement. In hip resurfacing, rather than replacing large portions of the femur, the femoral head is capped with an artificial ball with a short stem that is inserted into the thigh bone. This cap is then coupled with a cup that replaces the hip socket. Smith & Nephew’s Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System is a metal-on-metal resurfacing device that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved on May 9, 2006.
Unlike many other metal-on-metal hip replacements, Smith & Nephew sought approval via premarket approval rather than the FDA’s controversial 510(k) premarket notification process that allows device manufacturers to forgo clinical trials by showing that their products are “substantially equivalent” to preexisting devices. Nevertheless, the consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, claimed that Wright Medical, Inc.’s concerns about the studies backing the device’s approval used unsound science.
The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System Might Cause Dangerous Side Effects
Even though it was subjected to clinical trials, recipients of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System have reported the same kinds of side effects the FDA associates with other metal-on-metal hip replacements:
- Hip replacement dislocation
- Bone fracture
- Joint infection
- Local nerve damage, numbness, and weakness
- Device loosening or breakage
- Difference in leg lengths
- Bone loss (osteolysis)
- Pain in the groin, hip or leg
- Swelling at or near the hip joint
- A limp or change in walking ability
- Noise (popping, grinding, clicking or squeaking) from the hip joint
- Metal toxicity from cobalt and chromium ions released into the blood stream
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately.
In June 2012, Smith & Nephew also recalled a liner that can be used with the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System, the Reflection 3 (R3) metal liner. The liner is the interior portion of the hip cup, and recipients can choose from several options. Smith & Nephew found that the metal liner was causing problems in recipients to the point of necessitating revision procedures. The failure rate was calculated at 1.6 percent after one year while the British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence sets the benchmark failure rate at only 1 percent. The other hip replacement that used the R3 metal liner is the R3 Acetabular System, but that device has not been approved in the United States.
In September 2012, Smith & Nephew released a Field Safety Notice warning recipients of the Birmingham Hip Modular Head that the device’s revision rate is higher than normal at 1.12 revisions per 100 component years. However, the Birmingham Hip Modular Head has not been approved in the United States.
Recipients of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System Are Filing Lawsuits Against Smith & Nephew
Because of the side effects the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System allegedly causes, many recipients have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer. At this time no federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been created nor has any similar mass-tort proceeding in any state court.
RLG’s Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System Lawyers Will Make Things Easier
If you or a loved one received a Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System and you believe it caused an injury, then you might be able to hold the manufacturer responsible. The amount of compensation from a Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System lawsuit might include damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. To find out if you are eligible, click on this link or call 1-888-707-4470 and a lawyer from the Rottenstein Law Group will reach out to you as soon as possible to give you a complementary, confidential legal consultation.