BHR Hip Implant Compensation Claims | Irwin Mitchell Solicitors

What Is A BHR Hip Implant?

The Smith and Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) hip implant is widely known for being the best performing metal-on-metal hip implant currently available. It is targeted at the “younger, active patient” and delivers clinical results which help to conserve the bone.

It was the first of the new generation resurfacing implants introduced to the market in the late 1990s. Positive results were found after large athletic men had originally been implanted with the prosthesis and the implant quickly became the most widely used resurfacing implant for men and women.

Many patients who were implanted with this device expected that the BHR replacement implant would last at least 20 years and would in fact perform better than traditional hip replacements because of reduced component wear.

Case History

The case relating to this particular metal-on-metal hip implant relates to the revision rate, size of components and patient specific factors. Revision refers to any surgery that the patient requires after the initial hip implant and how many years since the primary surgery that revision is required.

The UK National Joint Registry confirmed that the seven-year revision rate of the BHR hip implant was 5.61% out of a total of 18,200 implantations in UK patients. This covers the entire size range.

However, this revision rate will vary depending on the size of the femoral head that is used on the implant. For example, a second independent study by Smith et all in 2012 considered this and established that a 42mm BHR implant had a much higher seven-year revision rate of 11.76%, more than double the original estimate.

Not only that, but The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently provided hip implant guidance, stating that hip implants shouldn’t be supplied unless they have a revision rate less than 5% at ten years.

Smith and Nephew issued a Field Safety Notice in December 2014 where they acknowledge that certain BHR hip replacement implants cause a risk to health.

Specifically, patients who are at the highest risk of harm and premature revision surgery when implanted with a BHR replacement are females, males aged 65 or older and those who receive a femoral component size smaller than 48mm.

Smith and Nephew have accepted that patients may experience one or more of the following symptoms which may result in early revision surgery:

  • Pseudotumours
  • Tissue masses
  • Fluid collections
  • Enlarged bursae
  • Pain and swelling local build-up  of excessive metal particles or metal hypersensitivity
  • Revision surgery
  • Impaired function post revision surgery

As a result of Smith and Nephew’s publication of the increased risks associated with BHR systems with a femoral component smaller than 48mm, the manufacturer has changed the instructions for use it provides surgeons and highlighted these changes in its Field Safety Notice relating to the BHR.

This Field Safety Notice applies to BHR femoral heads, BHR standard acetabular cups and BHR Dysplasia cups. Smith and Nephew have changed their instructions for use to ensure that the high risk patients, highlighted above, are not implanted with a BHR device as these metal-on-metal hip implants are clearly not safe for these patients.

How You Can Claim

Our product liability solicitors are helping a number of people to claim compensation who have been personally affected by a BHR metal-on-metal hip implant manufactured by Smith and Nephew.

If you believe you or a family member may have been affected by a BHR metal-on-metal implant, then contact us online and we will get back to you.

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