The Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular Hip System Recall - More Metal-on-Metal Complications

Posted by Stephen K. Sugarman

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The Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System is a modular hip implant system. This hip prosthesis allows surgeons to choose individual components to accommodate the individual needs of patients. Artificial hip implant systems, including the R3, have an acetabular cup (shell) which has a liner and replaces the hip socket. The femoral head (ball) fits into the lined cup. The R3 Acetabular System includes an acetabular cup liner made of either plastic, metal or ceramic. When the R3 is used with the optional metal liner and metal femoral head, the device becomes a metal-on-metal implant, having metal-on-metal joint complications similar to those seen with the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip systems and the DePuy ASR hip system.

The R3 metal liners, like the recalled Stryker and DePuy hips, are associated with higher than normal failure rates and present numerous complications. Metal particles are released when the metal liner and metal femoral neck grind, causing metallosis and blood toxicity. Further problems include hip dislocations, increased joint pain, decreased mobility, strength and stamina, pseudotumors, infections, and tissue and bone necrosis. R3 patients typically require explantation of the defective components and implantation of safe ones. Such revision surgeries are complex and require extensive rehabilitation.

Smith & Nephew began marketing the R3 in Europe and Australia in 2007, and it was made available in the United States in 2009. Since it was released, 7,700 patients received the metal liner world-wide and approximately 3,000 to 4,000 R3 Systems were distributed in the United States. On June 1, 2012, Smith & Nephew recalled the R3 metal liner option, citing higher than normal revision surgery rates and performance levels that were not acceptable.

Many injured recipients of the recalled R3 metal liner have already brought claims against Smith & Nephew. If you received the recalled R3 System, or other defective Smith & Nephew hip system, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries resulting from the dangerous and defective condition of the product.

SUGARMAN has a team of lawyers dedicated to handling defective and recalled hip system claims. Please fill out a Contact Form, call us at (617) 542-1000 or e-mail info@sugarman.com if you believe that you received a defective Smith & Nephew hip system.