Metal-on-metal hip implants: How Thompsons Solicitors can help you to make a medical negligence compensation claim14 July 2017
If you have been injured as a result of metal-on-metal hip implants, Thompsons Solicitors’ skilled medical negligence lawyers can help you to make a compensation claim
If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of metal-on-metal hip implants, you may be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT METAL-ON-METAL HIP IMPLANTS
1. What are hip implants?
Hip implants are prosthetic devices fitted to replace joints that have suffered damage or deterioration. Also known as hip replacements, this surgery is considered a major procedure, and will only be considered if other treatments, such as physiotherapy, aren’t successful in reducing pain or improving mobility.
2. How is a hip replacement procedure performed?
During a hip replacement procedure, a surgeon removes the damaged or diseased ball and socket of a hip joint and replaces it with a man-made metal, plastic or ceramic hip joint. The surgery is normally carried out under general anaesthetic.
3. What are hip implants made of?
Hip implants can be made of a number of materials, including:
- Metal-on-plastic: A metal ball attached to a plastic socket. This is the most commonly-used type of hip implant.
- Ceramic: Including ceramic-on-plastic (ceramic ball attached to a plastic socket) and ceramic-on-ceramic (where both components are ceramic), which is often used on younger and more mobile patients.
- Metal-on-metal (MOM): As the name suggests, both components are made of metal. This was developed in the 1990s as an alternative to metal-on-plastic, but has led to concerns about potential toxicity and muscular damage.
4. What medical conditions could cause the need for a hip implant?
You may be offered a hip replacement if you are in severe pain, and/or suffering from swelling and stiffness that makes going about your day-to-day life difficult.
Medical conditions known to lead to hip replacements include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Bone dysplasia
- Hip fractures
5. Are hip implants safe?
The majority of hip implants perform as expected and don’t cause problems for patients; however the NHS states that metal-on-metal or MOM hip implants can wear down quicker than those made out of alternative materials, potentially causing damage and inflammation to the bone and tissue surrounding the hip.
There are also concerns that metal-on-metal hip implants could leak traces of metal into a person’s bloodstream. Whilst there is no definitive link between the metal in MOM implants and illness, there have been a small number of cases where high levels of metal in the bloodstream can cause effects to the heart, nervous system and thyroid gland.
6. How long do hip implants last?
Hip implants, including metal-on-metal hip implants, usually last 10 to 12 years. However, the concerns are that some MOM implants degenerate far sooner, leaving people in need of more regular check-ups and surgical operations to fix damage they have caused.
7. Are metal-on-metal hip implants still being used?
No. MOM implants were largely phased out after a 2013 study found the implant had an unacceptably high failure rate in 17,000 patients studied.
8. How do I tell if my metal-on-metal hip implant is defective?
Your MOM hip implant could be defective if you are suffering with any of the following symptoms:
- Groin, hip or leg pain
- Swelling near the hip
- A noticeable grinding or clunking noise coming from the joint
- Issues with mobility
General changes to your health such as fatigue, vision or hearing issues, chest pains, numbness or weakness, weight gain or feeling cold could also be indicators of a faulty hip implant.
Some people can also be asymptomatic (not displaying any symptoms), meaning that the implants could be unknowingly causing bodily damage. Thompsons Solicitors recommends that you contact your GP immediately for a check-up if you have received a metal-on-metal hip implant, to make sure that there isn’t an underlying problem.
9. My metal-on-metal hip implant is causing me discomfort – what should I do?
If you or a family member are suffering pain, or have fears that your metal-on-metal implant could be damaging your health or is causing you pain, you should visit your GP immediately. They will be able to investigate whether your MOM implant is the cause of the pain and will discuss the available steps to prevent it causing further damage.
Recently issued MHRA guidance states that men who are suffering with symptoms as a result of their MOM implant will need to have an annual check-up, while those who are asymptomatic will need to visit their GP for tests every three years. All women who have had the implant will need annual tests, as research has found that women are more likely to need replacement surgery.
10. My GP has diagnosed my metal-on-metal implant as the cause of my discomfort – can I make a medical negligence claim?
Yes. If your MOM hip implant has been identified as the cause of your injury, Thompsons Solicitors’ medical negligence lawyers can help you begin a personal injury claim for MOM implant compensation – our solicitors are currently supporting a number of people in metal-on-metal hip implant claims, and have extensive experience of securing maximum compensation for clients who have suffered a medical injury caused by MOM implants.
To begin your metal-on-metal hip implant compensation claim, call our friendly team today on 0800 0 224 224 or fill in our no obligation online Start a Claim form. Alternatively, you can request a callback to speak with one of our medical negligence solicitors at a time convenient to you.
11. I have a family member who has a metal-on-metal implant – how can I help them start a medical negligence claim with Thompsons Solicitors?
If your family member has suffered a personal injury as a result of a metal-on-metal hip implant, our specialist medical negligence lawyers can help them make a personal injury claim. If they are under 18, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim on their behalf.
As part of trade union membership, the close family of union members can benefit from legal services provided by Thompsons Solicitors. In medical negligence claims, this means a free initial consultation and special terms thereafter. Contact your union representative or visit our Trade Unions hub for more information.
12. How long do I have to make a MOM implant medical negligence compensation claim?
Because MOM implants are only meant to last 10 to 12 years, you cannot usually make a personal injury claim if the implant was manufactured over 10 years ago. There may be exceptions, however, so it is always best to speak with Thompsons Solicitors first to see if you would be eligible to make a metal-on-metal hip implant claim.
13. Are there time limits on making a metal-on-metal implant compensation claim?
Yes, all clinical negligence and medical accident claims have a time limit. You must begin your claim within three years of the date when you could have reasonably known you had an injury – for example a doctor’s diagnosis.
There are very few exceptions to this, so make sure you get in touch with our medical negligence experts as soon as possible to discuss making a metal-on-metal hip implant claim.
14. How can I pay for a medical negligence compensation claim?
Thompsons Solicitors is always transparent with legal fees and we will always help you choose the best payment option. One way to fund a personal injury compensation claim is via a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, also known as a conditional fee agreement. As the name suggests, you won’t pay a penny if your claim is unsuccessful, but if your claim succeeds, a success fee of no more than 25 per cent will be taken from the overall compensation secured. You can learn more by speaking to a member of our legal team or visiting our Fees and Payment page.
If you or a family member are part of a trade union, your membership entitles you to a free initial consultation and specialist terms after that.
However you choose to fund your claim, we will make sure that you don’t face financial risk.
15. How long will it take for my medical negligence claim to settle?
Thompsons Solicitors’ medical negligence specialists have secured tens of millions of pounds in compensation for people across the UK who have been injured as a result of clinical negligence. We use our extensive legal expertise in every single medical negligence claim we run and will always aim to settle the maximum amount of compensation as quickly and compassionately as possible, all the while guiding you through each stage of the claims process and putting you in touch with charities and support services along the way if needed.
If you or someone you know has suffered as a result of a metal-on-metal implant, don’t delay – contact Thompsons Solicitors’ medical negligence specialists today to begin your medical negligence claim. Call 0800 0 224 224 or visit our Start a Claim page.
Concerned about negligent medical treatment or diagnoses? Talk to us for advice and support today.
Our discrete and compassionate medical negligence solicitors are experienced in the full range of medical injury claims, and will work with you to establish whether you have a medical negligence compensation claim.
If you, or a loved one, think you have suffered medical negligence, such as a birth injury (for example, a cerebral palsy diagnosis following a difficult birth), misdiagnosis (such as cancer misdiagnosis), or suffered negligence during an operation contact us for advice.
If the incident happened more than three years ago, you will usually not be able to make a claim for compensation. However, exceptions do apply – such as instances where you could not have reasonably known your symptoms were caused by clinical negligence, or cases involves adults who lack legal capacity or children – so contact us for advice.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.