Defective Knee and Hip ImplantsWith more and more Americans getting hip and knee implants each year, the likelihood of more these implants failing also increases.

According to a Lawyers and Settlements report, with a continuing rise in replacement procedures and continuing problems with latest-generation devices such as metal-on-metal implants, it is fair to assume that more hip and knee implants are likely to fail.

Dramatic Increase in Replacement Surgeries

The Sandusky Register of Ohio reports that more than two out of every 100 people in the United States now have an artificial joint.

Also, joint replacement is more common for Americans who are over 50, with five out of every 100 Americans over 50 now walking with a replacement knee and 2 percent moving around with a hip implant.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons also reported that about 400,000 hip replacement procedures 600,000 knee replacements each year in the United States.

That adds up to one million implants, a number that is projected to increase even more over the next decade as Baby Boomers age.

Studies have also shown that about seven million Americans have undergone either a total hip or knee replacement.

All-Metal Devices

Metal-on-metal hip and knee implants have been a cause for deep concern. Just a year ago, Stryker Corp. recalled certain hip implant devices due to corrosion and other issues.

Also, this March, Biomet agreed to a settlement that will pay hundreds of patients who received metal hip implants that required revision surgery 200,000 each in compensation.

In November, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.5 billion over their metal-on-metal hip implants that were pulled off the market four years ago.

Most of the hip implants that failed had an all-metal design that did not go through proper clinical trials due to the FDA 510 (k) clearance. As a result, these implants, which are supposed to last about 15 years, are failing as early as 18 months.

Anyone who has suffered adverse side effects such as pain or revision surgery can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

An experienced product liability lawyer who has successfully handled defective medical devices cases can help victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options.