Studies have shown that patients who underwent hip replacement surgery with Wright ProFemur hip implants are at risk of serious, painful complications due a design flaw that could lead to the catastrophic failure of these devices.
If you or a loved one underwent a hip replacement with Wright ProFemur implants and have experienced complications — including those that required surgical revision — you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries and medical bills.
➢ Wright ProFemur Total Hip System
Wright’s ProFemur hip implants are known officially as the Wright ProFemur Total Hip System. These implants are used during hip replacement surgery to repair damage caused by degenerative joint diseases, including dysplasia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or traumatic arthritis.
The Wright ProFemur Total Hip System consists of three separate components — a femoral head, a modular neck, and a femoral stem. The three sections of the ProFemur implants are assembled during surgery in order to repair the damage caused by arthritis or other joint diseases. Thousands of patients have been treated with Wright’s ProFemur Hip Implants since the product was introduced in 2003.
Wright’s ProFemur system is a metal-on-metal implant, which consists of both a ball and cup that are made from a titanium alloy. Metal-on-metal hip implants were originally intended to be a more durable alternative to plastic or ceramic hip implants; however, as more and more patients have received hip replacement surgery with a metal-on-metal device, doctors and patients have found that these devices are more prone to failure than hip replacement made from alternative materials.
➢ Problems With Wright ProFemur Hip Implants
Recent studies have revealed that hip implants with a modular neck like the Wright ProFemur Total Hip System are more prone to failure than other hip implants. Although these metal-on-metal implants are designed to last for 15-20 years, for many patients, these devices often fail much sooner due to problems with how the hip replacements were designed.
The increased failure rate observed among patients with Wright’s ProFemur hip implants is caused by a design flaw in the product’s titanium-alloy modular neck adapter. According to recent research, modular neck adapters that are made from titanium alloys like the Wright ProFemur system are more prone to fretting, corrosion, and fractures than hip replacements made from cobalt and chromium.
A 2009 study conducted by researchers in Australia found that more than 11% of patients who undergo hip replacement surgery with the Wright ProFemur Total Hip System eventually require corrective revision surgery to fix problems with the device.
Although the FDA has received hundreds of reports of hip replacement failures or other complications associated with Wright’s ProFemur hip replacements, neither the agency or the company has announced plans to recall the product.
➢ Side Effects of Wright ProFemur Implants
The design flaw found in the modular neck of Wright’s ProFemur hip implants can cause the device to fracture just below the neck. These fractures may lead to a catastrophic failure of the hip implants, causing patients to collapse on the floor in extreme pain and requiring emergency revision surgery in order to repair the damage.
In many cases, patients treated with Wright ProFemur implants may experience complications that could be a sign of problems with the device. Some of the most common side effects reported by patients who received a ProFemur hip replacement include:
- Severe pain, especially in the groin, hip, or thigh
- Problems standing or walking
- Infections near the site of the implant
- Migration or loosening of the device
- Fractures in the device’s femoral neck
- Device dislocation
Patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements like the Wright ProFemur system may also be at risk of side effects caused by metal toxicity. When the metal components of metal-on-metal hip replacements like the ProFemur system rub together, metal particles from the device may be released into the patient’s body. These toxic amounts of metal that can build up in the blood, soft tissue, or bones can lead to serious complications, including vision problems, hearing loss, or nerve damage.
➢ Lawsuits Filed by Patients With ProFemur Hip Implants
Wright Medical Technology and MicroPort Medical (which purchased Wright’s hip and knee manufacturing division in 2013) are facing hundreds of lawsuits filed by patients who suffered problems with their ProFemur hip implants. These lawsuits allege that Wright and MicroPort knew or should have known about the high failure rate associated with the ProFemur implants, but failed to recall these products or take corrective action to help patients who had already undergone hip replacement surgery.
In 2009, Wright Medical changed the material used in the modular necks of its ProFemur hip implants from titanium to cobalt, following reports that titanium hip replacements were more prone to failure. But despite the change, Wright failed to recall the defective titanium implants from the market, or even to warn doctors and patients about the risk of catastrophic failure associated with ProFemur implants.
The first lawsuit involving ProFemur hip implants involved an Arizona patient who underwent emergency revision surgery after his hip replacement suddenly failed, causing him to collapse in extreme pain on the floor of his home. A California jury eventually awarded the patient $4.5 million in damages.
Wright Medical and MicroPort Medical are facing about 1,200 lawsuits filed in state or federal court by patients who experienced complications, device failure, or underwent revision surgery because of problems with their ProFemur hip implants.
➢ Free Legal Consultation for Defective ProFemur Hip Implants
If you or a loved one underwent hip replacement surgery with a Wright ProFemur hip implant and have experienced complications with the device, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.
For more information about whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit against Wright Medical, contact the law firm of Hissey, Mulderig & Friend for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by phone by calling toll-free at 1-866-806-8117, or by completing our free case evaluation form located on the right side of this page.
After we receive your submission, one of our staff members will contact you by phone or email in order to obtain additional information and to schedule your consultation with one of our attorneys.