Patients with a new hip that utilises a metal-on-metal (MOM) system could be due substantial sums of money if they need their hip replacement replaced because of possible problems directly linked to the malfunctioning hip.

Personal injury lawyer Claire Kirwan – who has appeared as an expert on the BBC television consumer affairs programme Watchdog – is already acting for a number of clients requiring new hips to replace the Depuy ASR ones which were recalled in 2010 by manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, the multi-national supplier of medical and health products.

Ms Kirwan said: “It transpires that these MOM hip replacements have a high failure rate and where we can prove that replacement has been necessary due to health problems or malfunction caused solely by the MOM hip, a person may be entitled to compensation. This does not mean that everyone with a MOM hip replacement would automatically qualify for damages, however, as each individual case must be proved.

“I am aware that Warwick Hospital is trying to recover the cost of repeat surgery it has carried out solely due to the first hip replacement being defective and it has also written to patients fitted with MOM hips to advise them that they will be reviewed every year to check for problems.”

During the period from 2005 to 2010 the South Warwickshire Hospitals Trust performed 1,500 hip replacement operations and this product was used in 120 of Warwick Hospital’s patients. According to national figures, around 20 per cent of these would require further revision.

Problems reportedly occur when friction between the metal ball and cup into which it fits causes tiny metal filings to break off, resulting in seepage into the bloodstream and inflammation which can damage muscle and bone.

All patients that have required further surgery as a result of these hips have been contacted, state Warwick Hospital. Patients who have undergone hip surgery at the hospital and have not been contacted by the orthopaedic team do not have an ‘at risk’ replacement hip.

A partner at Blythe Liggins with an outstanding reputation in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence, Ms Kirwan wants to hear from people who are experiencing problems with their hip replacements, as well as those who have received letters from the hospital where they underwent surgery – both NHS and private – warning them of the potential for problems or advising that a replacement will be needed.

She said: “We can claim compensation for pain and suffering and additional scarring, the cost of revision surgery, care, rehabilitation and other associated losses.”

Ms Kirwan also plans to set up a register of people who have had MOM hip replacements but have not yet developed any problems. This will enable her and her team to act swiftly once patients report they are experiencing difficulties which are of a kind linked to faulty hip replacements.

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