Wright Profemur Hip Replacement

Wright Profemur Hip Device

Hip replacements are expected to be designed to increase mobility and decrease pain for years to come, and approximately 500,000 hip replacement surgeries occur each year in order to achieve that goal. Yet, several types of hip devices actually harm patients more than help them. Indeed, hip components designed with metal-on-metal interfaces can cause metal wear, release of metal ions into the body, and even degradation of the artificial hip component causing catastrophic fracture to the hip device. These defectively designed hip devices clearly result in dangerous complications, and they necessitate complex revision surgery with lingering side effects. These harmful complications have led to thousands of lawsuits to hold the manufacturers responsible for the harm their defective products have caused.

Contact the Minnesota Hip Replacement Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw today if you or a loved one has needed a revision surgery after a hip replacement. We will provide you with a free consultation. With over thirty years of experience, the attorneys at GoldenbergLaw have handled hundreds of defective hip replacement cases for clients nationwide and will work to give you the justice you deserve.

Case Quick Facts

What is a Wright Profemur Hip Device?

Hip replacement surgeries are performed when your hip becomes damaged, arthritic, or painful. The doctor will remove your hip joint and replace it with a manufactured joint made of metal, plastic, and/or ceramic materials. The goal of hip replacement surgery is to relieve long-lasting pain in patients. However, some individuals have complications as a result of their surgery or their defective hip device. Often these complications are caused by a defective implant that was sold by the manufacturer.

Wright Profemur hip devices were originally developed by Wright Medical Technology and have been marketed since the early 2000s toward individuals who want to live a more active lifestyle after their hip replacement surgery. The Profemur hip system device is comprised of a neck and stem combination. Wright Medical Technology has claimed that their hip implants were especially durable since they are made of titanium. However, after implant the implants were found to incur fretting (wearing down), corrosion, or fracture of the femoral neck or another part of the implant.

History of the Wright Profemur Hip Device

Until 2011, Wright Medical Group sold the titanium neck version of the Wright Profemur hip device. However, reports soon emerged of several fractures of the titanium Profemur neck device as a result of fretting and corrosion at the neck-stem interface. Starting in 2009, Wright Medical Technology introduced a cobalt and chromium (CoCr) version of Profemur neck to the U.S. market. Subsequent to the release of the Wright CoCr Profemur hip device, reports of fretting and corrosion related to this component also emerged. In 2013, Wright Medical sold the OrthoRecon hip and knee manufacturing division to MicroPort Medical for $290 million. In 2015, MicroPort voluntarily recalled specific models of Profemur modular neck component hip devices due to the risk of fracture after implant surgery. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that the “acute fracture and emergency revision surgery is a serious adverse health consequence and could lead to neurovascular damage, hematoma, hemorrhage, and even death.” Despite that Wright Medical Technology no longer manufactures the faulty hip replacements, it was deemed legally responsible for faulty hips manufactured while it owned OrthoRecon and for some models MicroPort continued to make for a time after the division was sold.

Medical Complications

Side Effects of Metal-on-Metal Hip Devices Such as Wright Profemur Devices Include:

  1. Metal blood poisoning (metallosis)
  2. Device loosening
  3. Dislocation
  4. Bone fracture
  5. Tissue damage from metal debris
  6. Infection
  7. Leg length deficiency
  8. Revision (removal) surgery
  9. Pseudotumors

Specific Adverse Reports Related to Wright Profemur Hip Devices:

  1. Femoral neck fracture or snapping
  2. Sudden pain
  3. Instability
  4. Difficulty walking and performing common tasks
  5. Corrosion
  6. Fretting
  7. Severe inflammation, swelling, and pain in hip area
  8. Development of non-cancerous pseudotumors

Many patients who experienced these complications had to endure a complicated revision surgery due to the device’s failure. However, having a revision surgery may also lead to complications such as neurovascular damage, hematoma, hemorrhage, and death.

What is Metallosis?

Metallosis is a severe type of metal poisoning that can occur when metal debris enters the bloodstream from a prosthetic device such as a metal-on-metal hip device. The buildup of metal ions within the tissue surrounding the implant can also lead to muscle, bone, and tissue death. This can also lead to the joint dislocating or another type of device failure. Treating metallosis requires removing and replacing the implant.

Symptoms of Metallosis:

  1. Clicking or other sounds coming from the implant
  2. Infection
  3. Loosening of the implant
  4. Rashes on the skin

Metallosis Complications Include:

  1. Auditory impairment that can result in deafness
  2. Cognitive impairment or memory issues
  3. Depression, anxiety or other mental health issues
  4. Heart problems, including heart failure
  5. Nerve problems
  6. Thyroid problems
  7. Visual impairment that may result in blindness
How GoldenbergLaw Can Help?

The Minnesota Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw have over thirty years of experience holding negligent device manufacturers responsible for the harm they have caused. GoldenbergLaw has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Reach out to GoldenbergLaw’s Hip Replacement Attorneys today for a free defective hip lawsuit consultation.

Reports of Hip Device Failure

According to the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, the majority of hip replacement patients have a 90 to 95% chance that their implant will last for at least ten years and there is an 80 to 85% chance that the implant will last for twenty years. However, it has been reported that Wright Profemur hip devices have more than an 11% chance of failing within only three years. The issue is the design of the hip device. The femoral neck has two parts to make it adjustable at different leg lengths instead of being fixed. The femoral neck was also manufactured to bend, but the design has made the component likely more prone to degradation. As a result, the implant has degraded, fractured, and even broken entirely resulting in severe pain and physical impairments.

Previous Wright Profemur Hip Device Lawsuits

In 2015, a California jury awarded plaintiff Alan Warner $4.5 million in damages against Wright Medical Technology. The plaintiff alleged that his Wright Profemur hip replacement broke after just three years when it was supposed to have lasted for twenty years. The California Superior Court jury found that Wright Medical Technology had manufactured a defective device. The damages amount was later reduced to $1 million.

In November 2016, Wright Medical Technology settled more than 1200 lawsuits related to the failure of a different component product for $240 million. In October 2017, Wright Medical Technology agreed to settle all these remaining hip implant lawsuits at the time for $90 million. The majority of these lawsuits named Wright’s Conserve, Dynasty, and Lineage devices as causing medical complications resulting in many of the patients requiring revision surgeries to remove the device and treat their injuries. Following the settlement, in June 2018 the original Wright multidistrict litigation (MDL), which oversaw these cases, was closed.

Litigation Update

In May 2020, additional Wright Profemur lawsuits filed a Motion to Transfer with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) in order to consolidate all of the lawsuits filed in federal courts nationwide to be turned into a Wright Profemur Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). This would help avoid duplicative discovery and prevent contradictory rulings from different judges. The motion stated that “movants allege in their complaints that the taper of the Profemur modular neck and female bore of the Profemur modular femoral stems were defectively designed and/or manufactured and promote fretting and corrosion at the junction of the modular neck and the femoral stem, which results in personal injury and the need for revision surgery. In addition, each plaintiff alleges Defendants knew or should have known of the defective nature of these hip implant components, and yet failed to properly warn doctors and patients and failed to timely remove the products from the market when it knew of the dangers associated with these products.”

In August 2020, the panel of federal judges on the JPML responded and consolidated the Wright Profemur hip lawsuits into the Eastern District of Arkansas, before Judge Kristine G. Baker for the Arkansas federal court for the MDL pretrial proceedings. The panel stated: “Centralization will avoid duplicative discovery, including costly expert discovery, on such complex issues as the design, testing, manufacturing and marketing of the Profemur modular hip implant system and related motion practice.” Basically, since the cases involve common questions about the design, marketing and performance of the Profemur line of modular hip implants, it makes sense to consolidate them for pretrial matters.

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