What is cobalt toxicity from a hip replacement?

October 14, 2021 | Crandall & Pera Law
What is cobalt toxicity from a hip replacement?

Each year, millions of patients undergo hip replacement surgery in Ohio and across the United States. Unfortunately, medical devices can sometimes be defective, resulting in serious complications. Cobalt toxicity is one of the complications that can occur after a hip implant.

Why do people get hip replacements?

Hip replacement surgery is a very common procedure that people get after an injury or natural wear and tear of the hip joint. Usually, a hip replacement is necessary after the age of 50. Currently, replacements are made of metal due to being more durable than older types that were constructed from ceramic or plastic. When a person has an injury or a medical condition such as osteoarthritis, their hip joint may have problems. Damage can occur along with difficulty moving around and pain. Although many surgeries are successful, defective medical devices are sometimes used. This can lead to various complications, and cobalt toxicity is one of the most common.

What is cobalt toxicity?

When hip replacements involve defective medical devices, issues can occur due to the material that makes up the device. Commonly, a metal hip replacement is made of cobalt. If the replacement is defective, the metal can flake off inside the patient's body and result in high levels of cobalt. Cobalt toxicity is a serious problem that can lead to injuries and complications such as inflammation, fever, and impaired thyroid. Other problems can arise as well, including organ damage, vision loss, hearing loss, and even heart failure. Defective medical devices are commonly recalled. If you have a metal hip replacement and suffer from cobalt toxicity, you may have the legal right to file a claim for damages. It might even be possible to join a class-action lawsuit.