Wright Profemur® Hip System
The Wright Hip System is a set of artificial modules that the surgeon transplants into patients to replace their own damaged hip joints. Each part of the Wright system is a substitute for our hip bones.
The hip joint is one of the largest weight-bearing joints in the body. It is where the acetabulum (shaped like half a cup) of the pelvis and the femur (the thigh bone) meet. It is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball-shaped top of the femur fits into and articulates within the acetabulum. When the hip is healthy, it has a large range of motion.
When people have hip problems, they are usually due to aging. Most often, they have either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Hips also can suffer traumatic damage, as in a car accident. In any of these cases, an artificial hip may enable persons to sit, stand, and walk as they did before the damage, free of pain.
Wright Medical Technology, Inc., the maker of the Wright hip system, says that their Profemur® Total Hip System uses a modular approach to hip components that "provides surgeons with unsurpassed options for primary and revision hip surgery."
Their hip system is comprised of a synthetic:
- Femoral neck
- Femoral stem
The neck fits atop the femur and is attached to the artificial ball. Wright makes six different interchangeable necks in two lengths, giving the surgeon a lot of flexibility in adjusting the patient's leg length to match their other leg and also to adjust the offset (the positioning of the leg in relationship to the body).
The neck connects to the stem of the artificial femur. The stem is surgically inserted into the patient's thigh bone after the surgeon makes a channel in the bone into which the stem fits.
Wright Profemur® Hip Defect
There have been an unusually high number of hip revision rates among the Wright Profemur® hip replacements, according to the Australian Orthopaedic Association. Australia, unlike the United States, keeps a registry of hip and knee implants.
Hip revision is a second hip surgery to correct defects in the original hip implant surgery. The registry data show that three years after patients had their hips replaced, 11.2 percent of them had failed, and the patients needed revision surgery.
The problem with the Wright Profemur® hip has to do with the design of the neck, which has been called unreasonably dangerous in allegations raised by plaintiffs in a lawsuit. The hip replacement lawsuit claims that the modular neck design, which is supposed to be adjustable to vary the length of the leg, has been breaking or fracturing after normal use.
This is extremely painful and requires revision surgery, adding to the patient's expenses. It also affects their lives because of the extensive time needed for rehabilitation, keeping them from work or pursuing their other regular activities.
If you've had problems with your hip replacement system, our attorneys can help you get the compensation you need. To schedule an evaluation of your case, please contact a hip implant lawyer today.