DePuy Hip Recall Infographic

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Problems with DePuy ASR Metal Hips

A Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics, won FDA approval for the ASR XL Acetabular total hip replacement system in 2005. Within two years, patients undergoing hip replacements and using this device — which was advertised as good for 15 years or more of use — were complaining of pain and other symptoms at the hip joint. In 2008 ASR XL Acetabular patients were showing elevated levels of chromium and cobalt in their bloodstreams, a possible result of the metal degrading over time. A study conducted by researchers at Newcastle University in England found that the shallow cup design of the DePuy system was likely causing the failure of the system, although DePuy continued to stand behind its product.

Further studies of hip replacement systems showed that “metal-on-metal” hip replacements, including those using the ASR XL as well as a similar system sold by Stryker Corporation, were prone to slow degrading of the metal content. In early 2010, citing poor sales, DePuy announced that it would be phasing out the DePuy system. Later in the year, the company announced a voluntary recall of the product, citing higher-than-expected failure rates in data generated by the Australian Joint Registry. In addition, DePuy announced a recall of the ASR Hip Resurfacing System.

Symptoms of DePuy ASY System Failure

The DePuy hip replacement systems began to degrade after surgery, with debris shedding into the bloodstream, causing a multitude of painful symptoms. In some patients, the symptoms took some time to appear, and the possibility remains that some patients with DePuy hips may have defects and conditions they’re not yet aware of. The most widely reported symptoms reported with the DePuy and other systems include pain in and around the hip joint, fracturing of the device, loosening of the hip, limping, hip dislocation, nerve damage, misalignment, and metal poisoning.

Litigation Involving Defective DePuy Hips

DePuy systems were used in approximately 93,000 operations in the United States alone in the five years between FDA approval and the 2010 recall. An estimated 15,000 of these patients will require some form of corrective surgery, and about 6,000 lawsuits over the defective hips have already been filed by DePuy patients.

Manufacturer’s Defense Fund

These multi-district litigation cases have been consolidated, and attorneys representing the clients are sharing their pre-trial discovery work. However, each suit is filed and litigated independently, rather than included in a class-action lawsuit. Reportedly between 18 and 40 percent of DePuy hip replacements are defective, and Johnson & Johnson has prepared to settle the litigation with a settlement fund of more than $3 billion.

Contact

An experienced medical device recall lawyer has access to laboratory research as well as testimony of claimants suffering from negligence and manufacturing defects, and an intimate knowledge of the litigation process involved in recovering damages from a defective product. If your DePuy hip replacement system has been recalled, contact a medical liability attorney before you undergo any corrective surgery to discuss your options. Even if you have no symptoms, consult your doctor to review your health status and discuss any possible future illness or failure symptoms that you may experience.

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