Hip Implants and Heart Problems

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently warned about the risk of heart problems due to metal debris from toxic metal-on-metal hip implants. The problem is that cobalt from the hip implants can get into a patient’s bloodstream and damage the heart muscle, with potentially life-threatening consequences. High levels of cobalt from defective hip implants has been linked to deadly cardiomyopathy and other complications.

Do I Have a Texas Hip Implant Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured by severe hip implant side effects, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a hip implant lawsuit in Texas.

Hip Implants and Heart Problems

Most metal-on-metal hip implants are made of two types of metal: chromium and cobalt. The problem is that the metal ball and cup slide against each other during walking or running, which can release tiny particles of chromium and cobalt around the implant.

Although chromium debris tends to accumulate around the implant, cobalt is highly soluble and can travel in the bloodstream to other areas of the body — including the heart. Excessive levels of cobalt due to a defective hip implant have been linked to severe, life-threatening heart problems.


Cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle becomes weaker and does not pump as well as it should. The heart muscle becomes enlarged, thicker, and less flexible, which makes it less effective at pumping blood. Patients with cardiomyopathy may suffer from irregular heart rhythm, fluid build-up (edema), and heart failure.

Studies have linked cardiomyopathy to high levels of cobalt toxicity in a patient’s bloodstream, according to a case report in the Bone & Joint Journal. The report describes a 46 year-old patient who died of cobalt-induced cardiomyopathy as a result of a failed cobalt-chromium hip implant.

Heart Attacks

In a July 2012 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people over age 60 who had knee or hip replacement surgery had a significantly higher risk of heart attack after their surgery. The researchers found that about 1 in 200 people who had a hip implant suffered a heart attack within 6 weeks of surgery. The risk of heart attack is approximately 25-times higher for hip implant patients than people who do not have the procedure.

FDA Warning for Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

In January 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the following publication titled Concerns about Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants, which included warnings about the risk of cardiomyopathy.

According to the FDA, “Metal-on-Metal hip implants have unique risks in addition to the general risks of all hip implants.” Furthermore, the agency warned that patients may suffer symptoms or illnesses in areas outside the hip (systemic reactions). These include:

  • General hypersensitivity reaction (skin rash)
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Neurological changes including sensory changes (auditory, or visual impairments)
  • Psychological status change (including depression or cognitive impairment)
  • Renal function impairment
  • Thyroid dysfunction (including neck discomfort, fatigue, weight gain or feeling cold)

Hip Implant Side Effects

Other serious side effects linked to metal-on-metal hip implants include:

  • Metallosis (metal poisoning)
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Inflammation (adverse local tissue reaction)
  • Chronic pain in the hip
  • Decreased walking ability
  • Bone loss
  • Formation of non-cancerous pseudotumors or bursas
  • Loosening of the hip implant
  • Need for revision surgery (replacement of the hip implant)
  • And more

Do I have a Hip Implant Lawsuit in Texas?

Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.

Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”

The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Texas Hip Implant lawsuit review.