Depuy hip replacement systems, such as the Depuy ASR hip implant, have been associated with significant issues from the moment they were first released. Subject to fracture under trauma, and with the implants suffering significant deterioration much more quickly than anticipated, these devices have resulted in diminished quality of life for hundreds if not thousands of patients.
One of the most insidious dangers of these hip replacement systems is their tendency to lead to bone deterioration. Previous models had relied entirely on cement to hold the prosthesis to the bone, but this resulted in a diminished lifespan for the artificial joint, an issue engineers sought to address with the ASR and similar models.
The key was a new design that featured a cratered surface, with the craters designed to allow the patient’s natural bone to grow into the implant, strengthening the bond more than previously used cement products might have. Relying on the body’s natural ability to build a strong, lasting substance in human bone was supposed to result in a 20 year or longer lifespan for these implants.
It is possible that the basic engineering idea was sound, and that this model could work if properly designed, but the initial wave of artificial hips suffered from a major defect. The artificial ball and socket were not aligned properly, leading to friction in the joint. The craters, rather than fusing with the bone, rubbed against the existing hip, wearing down the bone and causing deterioration.
The long-term prognosis as a result of this deterioration was drastically worsened. When the patients went in for the procedure, they often still had bone capable of regrowth, bone quality that was compromised by the implant. Where cement failure still allowed for revision surgery with minimal complications, the deteriorated bone requires extensive reworking of the socket to be able to install another artificial joint.
If you or someone you love has suffered after receiving an artificial hip implant, holding the company responsible for the defective design of their product is important. Please consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case. So long as medical companies get away with releasing dangerous products to the public while reaping massive profits, faulty products will continue to put the health and safety of the public at risk.