Sulzer Orthopedics recalled 25,000 Sulzer hip implants in 2000 because of a defect caused by a lubricant used during the manufacturing process of the Inter-Op acetabular shell. The device was designed to fit into place and allow the surrounding bone to naturally bond to it. It was found that the oil-based residue left during the manufacturing process interfered with the bonding process.
Sulzer Orthopedics ordered the recall after an eight-week investigation into patient records and the device itself. By the end of March 2001, 748 revision surgeries related to Sulzer hip implants had taken place. In 2002, a settlement proposal was reached with Sulzer for nearly $1 billion.
The possible side effects of this defect are in many cases attributed to the loosening of the Inter-Op acetabular shell. These side effects may require additional replacement surgery to correct the problem. Some side effects found in patients with defective implants include:
- Severe pain in the thigh, groin or anterior trochanteric area
- Increased pain accompanying increased weight-bearing
To learn more about legal claims relating to Sulzer hip implants, consult an attorney who practices in the area of drugs and medical devices.