ALVAL from Metal on Metal Hip Replacements

What is ALVAL?

Metal-on-Metal (MoM) hip implants are known to rub off microscopic metal particles into patients’ bodies over time from friction. One of the health problems triggered by the elevated metal particles in the bloodstream is called ALVAL.
ALVAL is short for “Aseptic Lymphocyte-Dominant Vasculitis-Associated Lesions.”
Some MoM patients develop ALVAL because their metal implants trigger an allergic-type reaction around the device. Essentially, the metal particles from the hip implant interact with the body’s immune cells, causing the body’s defense system to act like it’s being attacked. ALVAL can be very destructive and cause severe pain.

What are the Symptoms of ALVAL?

It is important to note that many patients with ALVAL experience absolutely no physical symptoms even though their bodies are undergoing a very damaging process. For this reason, the FDA recommends that all patients with metal hip implants get examined thoroughly by their doctors every 1 to 2 years. However, some of the most common symptoms associated with ALVAL are:

  • Moderate to severe pain in the hip or groin
  • Clicking, popping, or squeaking in the hip implant
  • Difficulty walking due to hip pain
  • Lumps or inflammation around the hip implant or groin
  • Restricted range of motion in the hip
  • Inability to bear weight on a leg

If you have experienced any of these symptoms in your hip, you should contact your doctor immediately.

How Common is ALVAL from Metal on Metal Hips

ALVAL is a well-documented and common health problem that results from metal hip implants; it can happen to patients with total hip replacements or hip resurfacings. One study of nearly 14,000 hips found that as many as 6.5% of hip replacements result in ALVAL or pseudotumors. Additionally, ALVAL is more common among females.

How is ALVAL from Metal on Metal Hip Implants Diagnosed?

Many patients only find out they have ALVAL after they’ve already gone through revision surgery because their doctors were able to directly inspect their hip joint. However, the process of diagnosing ALVAL before revision surgery can involve a number of steps, such as:

  • MRI scans
  • Ultrasounds
  • X-ray scans
  • Blood cobalt and chromium measurements
  • Harris Hip Score questionnaire
  • Testing a sample of fluid from the hip, white blood cell count, and tissue samples
Reaction in a persons hip cavity to the metals in defective metal on metal hip replacements
ALVAL from Metal on Metal Hip Replacement

Our Extensive Legal Experience in Metal on Metal Hip Litigation

➨ Maglio Christopher & Toale Law Firm is one of only a handful of law firms in the nation that has reviewed the millions of discovery documents involved in this type of litigation. Other law firms contact our attorneys for advice on these types

➨ The American Association for Justice, a nationally recognized plaintiffs attorney organization, asked attorneys at Maglio Christopher & Toale Law Firm to present

➨ Our attorneys have personally questioned under oath dozens of orthopedic hip manufacturer’s employees from all over the world, including surgeons, designers, marketing executives, and corporate CEOs.

➨ In 2008 Maglio Christopher & Toale Law Firm filed the first lawsuit in the United States against a manufacturer of the current generation of defective metal-on-metal hip replacements. Ever since we have been at the forefront of litigation against the makers of these defective medical devices across the United States.

➨ We have developed contacts within the orthopedic community, an understanding of how that community works, and we have extensive medical and technical knowledge about defective orthopedic hip replacements.

➨ Our Firm is aggressively and actively litigating defective metal on metal hip cases through the U.S. state and federal court systems.  We are not waiting for a settlement that may never come because our clients need help now.

Complications From Metal Hips