What is the Wright Profemur Hip Replacement?
Wright Medical Technology Inc. manufactures the Profemur and Profemur-Z hip replacement systems. Instead of a traditional “fixed-neck” design, the Profemur consist of three separate components that are assembled together during surgery: a femoral head, modular-neck stem, and femoral stem. This design has been marketed as superior because the interchangeable components allow a surgeon to custom-fit the implant to a patient.
What is the problem?
Lawsuits filed against Wright Medical allege that the Profemur hip replacement is defective because the interchangeable parts introduce a metal-on-metal component. When these components grind together, they can potentially corrode, fracture, fail prematurely, and release toxic particles of metal into a patient’s body.
Profemur Linked to High Rate of Failure and Revision Surgery
In 2009, a report from the Australian Orthopedic Association linked the Wright Profemur to an 11.2% three-year revision-rate. This means that approximately one in nine patients who have the Profemur will need revision surgery due to premature failure of the implant. Normally, hip replacement are supposed to last 15 years or more. Revision surgery is physically traumatic, painful, emotionally exhausting, expensive, and may require weeks or months of recovery time. There is also a risk of permanent mobility problems, especially for older patients with weak bones.
Will There Be a Recall?
Wright has not issued a recall of the Profemur hip replacement as of February 2014. This is concerning, because other hip replacements with a similar revision-rate and design have already been recalled. In July 2012, Stryker recalled the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip replacements, which are modular-neck hip replacements with a similar design as the Wright Profemur. In addition, DePuy Orthopedics recalled the ASR after it was linked to a 12% five-year failure-rate — very similar to the 11.2% failure-rate linked to the Wright Profemur.
FDA Warnings for Metal Hip Implants
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published several Safety Warnings about the risk of metal-on-metal hip implants. Recent studies have found no benefit from the all-metal design, and unique defects that elevate a patient’s risk of premature failure of their implant. According to the FDA:
“In metal-on-metal hip implants, the metal ball and the metal cup slide against each other during walking or running. Metal can also be released from other parts of the implant where two implant components connect. Metal release will cause some tiny metal particles to wear off of the device around the implant, which may cause damage to bone and/or soft tissue surrounding the implant and joint.”
Wright Profemur Risks & Complications
- Hip pain, swelling, inflammation
- Loosening of the hip joint
- Decreased flexibility
- Limited mobility (standing, walking, ascending stairs, etc.)
- Bone loss
- Tissue necrosis
- Metallosis (metal poisoning)
- Toxic metal debris in the patient’s hip
- Systemic reactions from metal poisoning
- Premature revision surgery
- And more
Do I have a Wright Profemur Hip Class Action Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Wright Profemur lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured by a Wright Profemur hip replacement, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by joining a Wright Profemur hip class action lawsuit, or by filing a lawsuit and we can help.