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Hip, Knee & Spine Implants

Hip, knee and spine implants can be truly transformative, restoring a good quality of life; however problems have emerged in connection with some metal-on-metal implants that have released dangerous levels of cobalt and chromium in the body, causing inflammation, muscle erosion, pain, and even non-cancerous tumours.

Many of the metal-on-metal implants should have been rejected immediately as these products have a high failure rate and pose a risk of metal particles (ions) being deposited in the bloodstream. Complications caused by metal ions (e.g. cobalt and chromium) entering the blood stream can cause skin rash, severe bone and tissue damage (irreversible at times), sensory, visual and auditory impairment, Cardiomyopothy, depression and anxiety and or cognitive impairment, renal impairment and thyroid dysfunction.

How do I tell if my implant is defective?

You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve experienced one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Loosening or dislocation of implant
  • Bone fracture or bone loss
  • Pain during movement or walking
  • Mobility issues including restricted motion and stiffness
  • Swelling due to inflammation
  • Revision surgery
  • Metallosis – metal poisoning, including cobalt toxicity

What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms and suspect it may be an implant causing them?

You should seek medical advice from a general practitioner for less serious symptoms but we suggest reporting anything unusual also to your surgeon so you can be evaluated. If you are unsure if your implant was on a recall list you should contact your surgeon that carried out the operation.

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What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms and suspect it may be an implant causing them?

You should seek medical advice from a general practitioner for less serious symptoms but we suggest reporting anything unusual also to your surgeon so you can be evaluated. If you are unsure if your implant was on a recall list you should contact your surgeon that carried out the operation.

How do I know what type of implant I have?

You should have been notified about the type of implant before surgery. If at all concerned you should contact the orthopaedic surgeon who performed your procedure.

Common reasons for implant recalls:

  • Labelling issues: implant devices and components were incorrectly labelled/colour coded by size, leading to the incorrect implant being used; implant did not have a label instructing the removal of the protective shipping cap, which was accidentally implanted by a doctor
  • Fracturing: flawed implant can fracture. Procedural tools and surgical instruments used for fitting the implant may fracture or break during surgery.
  • Cracking: implant coating may crack
  • Design flaw: the implant device (femoral stem) may cause “impingement” and not allow the stem and to lock; femoral head popped out of the liner during surgery
  • Missing Components: acetabular system missed locking rings
  • Manufacturing Issues: implant parts of incorrect thickness and sizing; hip stems didn’t meet specifications for strength; components used for hip implants were made with a raw material that were not up to standards; “exceeded foreign materials standards”; manufacturing material may be left on implants
  • Packaging Issues: the sterility of the hip stem may be compromised because of poor packaging; surgical tools may not be properly sealed when shipped; parts and tools placed and distributed in incorrect packaging and cartons
  • Migration Issues: screws used to repair fractures may “migrate”
  • Fit Issues: implant heads too loose or too tight with stem and necks
  • Incorrect Parts/Instructions: instructions inadequate and unclear; instruments for hip procedures came with the incorrect instructions

Can you make a claim?

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    About your claim

    How much you can claim will depend on a number of factors related to the injury received from negligence, malpractice or defective medical product. Some of those factors are listed below:

    • Degree of pain, suffering and ongoing problems caused
    • Loss of earnings from being unable to work / return to work
    • Support and care that you need now and in the future related to your injury
    • Support for modifications made to your home
    • Specialist mobility equipment required

    The first thing to do is to get in touch with us so we can provide a free consultation and discuss your case. We can quickly work out if you have a claim by asking a few questions. We will also let you know if you will benefit from a No win no fee arrangement. If after your free consultation you decide to proceed with a compensation claim we will proceed with the stages below.

    Investigation stage
    We need to determine the extent of your injury and any monetary losses directly related to your injury / illness. It may be necessary to have a medical examination carried out to accurately identify your injury and asses your suffering.

    Compensation calculation
    We will calculate how much compensation you are likely to receive from a successful claim taking into account the various factors associated with your injury including loss of income, pain and suffering, medical expenses and future expenses including future care and specialists equipment and any modifications necessary to your home. We then will put this amount to your opponent and they have two options. Accept the claim, or contest the claim.

    If your opponent accepts then you will be awarded the compensation due. If they do not accept the claim then the next phase will be court proceedings. Please not this does not always mean a case goes to trial it simply means a court takes over management of the case where an opponent still has the opportunity to settle your claim. If you have to go to court rest assured we will be with you every step of the way. And remember if we agreed to handle your claim under a no win no fee agreement then you will not have to pay anything if your claim was unsuccessful.

    As with almost all compensation claims of this type you have three years from the date of the injury / illness caused to start a claim. Sometimes there are exceptions, for example people unable to make their own legal decisions such as children or adults unable to make there own legal decisions.

    In the case of defective medical equipment / products a claim must also be made within 10 years of that product going into circulation. This cannot be extended. Time limits are always on a case by case basis. We can of course help identify this when investigating your claim.

    24hr Claims Helpline 0333 987 4161

    Hip implants

    As of 2013, Stryker recalled over 200 models—a number slightly higher than recalls for manufacturer DePuy. People have suffered metal poisoning, broken bones, debilitating pain, and more as a result of the following implants:

    DePuy (ASR XL Acetabular System)

    The FDA’s class II recall of these hip systems was two months ahead of the company-initiated recall in 2010, following reports of toxicity and the release of metal debris into the body. Injuries from the DePuy ASR hip implant reportedly cost the company over $800 million.

    Stryker (Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stems).

    Stryker issued a voluntary recall of the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip systems just three years after the devices were put on the market. The recall came on the heels of an urgent field safety notice issued by the manufacturer, alerting doctors and hospitals to the risk of adverse local tissue reactions due to particle shedding in the devices.

    Zimmer (Durom Acetabular Component, Zimmer M/L Taper with Kinectiv Technology).

    The FDA issued a class II recall of Zimmer’s Durom Acetabular Component (known as the Durom Cup) in 2008 due to reports of premature failure, affecting over 19,000 implanted patients nationwide. In June 2015, the FDA issued a class I recall of the Zimmer M/L Taper with Kinectiv Technology when the agency discovered higher than acceptable levels of manufacturing residues left on the devices prior to implantation.

    Wright/MicroPort Orthopedics (Profemur Z Hip Stem, Profemur Neck Varus/Valgus CoCR).

    Wright Profemur hip defects included corrosion in the hip joint, fretting, and femoral neck fractures. The dangers prompted the FDA to issue a class I recall of the Profemur Neck Varus/Valgus CoCR, citing the devices probability to cause significant “adverse health consequences.”

    Smith & Nephew (R3 Metal Liners of the R3 Acetabular System).

    Smith & Nephew introduced its R3 Acetabular System to the U.S. market in 2009, and over 3,000 Americans were implanted with the device and its optional metal liner. While the metal component was marketed as making the device more durable, Smith & Nephew later admitted that the lining suffered from performance issues. The company initiated its own recall of the devices in 2012 due to growing reports of sudden loosening and dislocation of the implant.

    “More than 50,000 Britons with ‘metal-on-metal’ hips told to have X-rays and blood tests over toxic fears”
    The Telegraph

    “Hip implant maker was alerted to safety fears, as surgeon told them: ‘It borders on unethical to market’”
    The Telegraph

    Knee implants

    The majority (619) came from the three largest orthopaedic manufacturers in world at the time: Zimmer, DePuy and Stryker.
    The following knee replacement products have also been recalled:

    Zimmer knee implant recalls:

    • The Zimmer NexGen LPS-Flex GSF Femoral component
    • NexGen MIS Tibial components
    • NexGen TM Tibial Trays
    • NexGen LPS-Flex GSF Femoral component
    • NexGen MIS Modular Tibial Plates and Keels


    • Duracon Total Knee
    • Unicompartmental Knee System
    • Scorpio PS and CR components


    • Vanguard CR

    Smith & Nephew

    • Journey Uni Tibial Baseplate
    • Oxinium Genesis II and Profix II

    “In recent years, several complaints have emerged over knee replacement devices. They include allegations that some popular knee replacement components have failed prematurely or loosened, leading to injuries such as infection, inflammation, and bone or muscle damage.”

    ” Some of the devices and components cause complications like wear on the bones, bone loss, and instability in the joint. One DePuy knee component was recalled in 2013 because of serious issues.’”
    Recall Report

    Spine implants

    Defective spine implants can prove deadly, potentially resulting in paralysis, serious injury or even death. Recalled spine implants include:

    • Stryker Spine OASYS Midline Occiput Plate System
    • Genesys Spine Binary Anterior Cervical Plate System
    • DePuy Spine Skyline Anterior Cervial Plate System
    • Synthes Vectra System, Synthes Vectra-One System and Synthes Vectra-T System
    • uNion Cervical Plate System
    • Captiva Spine SmartLOX Cervical Plate System
    • ATLANTIS(R) Anterior Cervical Plate System

    “Stryker recalls spinal implant, gets ‘deadly’ FDA label”
    Fierce Biotech

    “Harmful Chemicals in Spine Implants Prompt Zimmer Recall”

    Can I sue for negligence

    Check that your medical issues are grounds for negligence, and not a simple complaint procedure. You might very well have a claim if duty of care has been beached leaving you with injury, pain or loss.

    Common medical errors

    Read about common medical errors and mistakes made by hospitals & hospital staff. Even the most highly trained and conscientious surgeons, doctors and staff can on occasion make mistakes.

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