Hip Implant Problems Surge

The New York Times is reporting, what we already know–the number of complaints about metal-on-metal hip implants is surging. And there is no end in sight.

“All-metal replacement hips are on a trajectory to become the biggest and most costly medical implant problem since Medtronic recalled a widely used heart device” in 2007. At the present time, the major problems appear to exist be with the Zimmer Durom and DePuy (Johnson & Johnson) ASR metal-on-metal hip implants. But complaints are surfacing with many brands.

Patients are experiencing reactions, believed to be linked to the shedding of metal debris. Unlike traditional hip implants that use a ceramic or metal ball and a poly-vinyl pelvic cup liner, the metal-on-metal components have metal balls and metal cups. Reactions to the metal debris mimmick severe infections and can attack and destroy bone and soft tissue. In the simplest cases, the metalosis causes the components to loosen and after surgical revision, the patients are recovering normal function after revision. However, in some cases, the metalosis has destroyed so much muscle bone and ligament, that normal revision is not possible. These patients can suffer debilitating pain and loss of function.

DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Recall

If you or someone you know suffered unusual pain or underwent revision surgery within just a few years of having a total hip replacement, the problem may be the result of implantation of a DePuy ASR metal on metal hip replacement.

Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of DePuy, introduced a line of metal on metal, so-called because both the ball and the socket of the artificial joint are made of metal, as opposed to the more typical metal or ceramic ball and polyethelene joint liner. Following extensive studies which have shown that as many as 13% of these implants are failing and requiring revision within just a few years, DePuy issued a recall.

What Hip Replacement Implants Were Recalled?

DePuy has recalled the following hip replacement implants:

  • ASR XL Acetabluar System—on the market since 2004 and sold worldwide
  • ASR Hip Resurfacing System—on the market since 2003 and sold outside the U.S.

How Do I Know if My Hip Was Recalled?

DePuy has notified your surgeon. By now, your surgeon’s office should have contacted you. If you suspect that you have a DePuy ASR XL implanted since 2004, then you should contact your surgeon to find out for sure. Also, an inventory control sticker from the implant should be in your hospital chart for the surgery.

What are the Common Problems Patients are Reporting?

Common complaints are component loosening, misalignment, dislocation, infection, loss of muscle mass, and unexplained hip, thigh or groin pain.

What Should I Do If I Have a Recalled Hip?

You should contact an experienced medical malpractice and medical product liability attorney. Todd N. Hendrickson has years of experience in evaluating orthopedic injury cases. It is important that any attorney you retain be able to fully evaluate the original implant surgery technique, as DePuy may attempt to blame the surgeon for improper implantation.

If you have suspect that you have a recalled DePuy ASR hip implant, call the office of Todd N. Hendrickson at 314-721-8833, or click on this link to ask for a consulation.