Specific batches of the Smith & Nephew tandem bipolar hip system have been recalled due to a defect that can cause the artificial hip joint to fall apart inside the patient’s body. When the implant fails, it is usually within the first few weeks of surgery. If your artificial hip comes apart, you will need revision surgery to remove and replace the defective artificial joint and possibly to treat injuries caused by the implant failure.
On August 29, 2016, Smith & Nephew initiated a recall of certain batches of its Tandem Bipolar Hip System, in the U.S. In September, it issued a Hazard Alert in Australia. The problem with the defective hip systems is a retainer groove that is out of specifications.
The manufacturer says that in most cases the defect will be discovered before the device is implanted. Surgeons or their staff will notice that the device did not assemble properly or that the head is too tight and doesn’t move freely. In those cases the defective device will not be used and the patient will not be harmed. All unused units have been recalled.
In cases where the defect is not detected before implantation, it can come apart after surgery. If that happens, it will cause:
- Limited mobility
- Loss of range-of-motion
If You Have the Recalled Hip Implant
If you have a recalled hip implant or if you’re not sure, talk to your doctor right away. Revision surgery is not recommended for patients who have not experienced hip implant failure, but you should talk to your doctor about monitoring and what the plan will be should your implant fail.
If you have been harmed by a defective hip implant, you may be entitled to compensation that can pay for your medical expenses, other monetary losses, and your noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. Please talk to an experienced defective medical device attorney right away to learn more about your rights and potential compensation.