DePuy Hip Replacement Recall Lawyer in New York City


DePuy Defective Hip Replacement

The Depuy ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System were defectively designed and manufactured, and as a result are known to cause pain, loosening or shifting of the device, metal toxicity and other complications which may result in additional surgeries. The hip replacement systems are known to fail even if the devices were properly implanted.

In fact as recently as August 26, 2010, Johnson & Johnson has recalled its implants made by the DePuy Orthopaedics unit of the company. This recall was in part caused by the myriad of complaints received by its customers, many of which had to get a second hip replacement after the company’s implant failed. A copy of the recall letter can be found by clicking here.

The Mechanism for Defect

The DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System incorporate two components which replicate natural ball-and-socket design: a metal ball with a stem is affixed to the thigh bone (femur); and, the socket is formed by a titanium shell lined with polyethylene sitting adjacent to the pelvic bone. Titanium is employed to fuse to bone due to its porous nature.

As far back as 2000 it was discovered that the titanium shell, more specifically mineral-based oils used as lubricants during manufacturing (not intended to have any contact with the human body), leaked into the porous titanium; and, therefore, prevented the shell from bonding to the bone. As a result of this discovery, in December of 2000, Sulzer Orthopedics (which controlled 11% of the hip replacement market) recalled 17,500 shells. And, as mentioned above, in August of 2010, Johnson & Johnson recalled its ASR XL Acetabular System, and ASR Hip Resurfacing System.

Sulzer and Johnson & Johnson are not the only manufacturers of defective hip replacement products, others include the following: Zimmer Inc.; Stryker Corp.; and, Howmedica Osteonics.

The failure of the titanium shell to adhere in defective models caused the shell to loosen and shift. That shifting caused build-up of scar tissue, and permanent bone loss for some patients.

Where defective shells were implanted, within six months of surgery, the following symptoms were commonly experienced by patients:

  • Pain when rising from a seated position
  • Pain in the groin and inner thigh
  • Weight-bearing pain, particularly in the buttocks

Since ASR Hips are comprised of ball and socket components, which move against one another, these metal components wear against each other over time. Through that wearing down, microscopic particles are generated. And, while these particles do not cause problems for most patients, some have experienced adverse reactions to the particles. Those who do encounter adverse reactions to the particles experience a build up of fluid in the joint and muscles around the joint. That build up of fluid may cause swelling around the joint, and thereby may result in damage to muscle, bone or nerve tissue surrounding the hip.

Those patients who have suffered injury associated with adverse reaction to particles from their implant should have a blood test to determine the levels of cobalt and chromium ions in their circulatory system. If you are found to have elevated levels of cobalt or chromium ions, the hip may need to be replaced.

Defective Hip Replacement is Too Costly a Weight to Bear

Because of defective shells, patients were subjected to additional surgeries, and many still live with irreparable damage caused by the defective device.

A conservative estimate recently approximated that yearly 310,000 Americans undergo hip replacement surgery with most operations performed to alleviate arthritis symptoms. Each surgery can cost from $20,000 to $50,000; and, this replacement surgery becomes more common as the population ages.

Patients who have undergone hip replacement surgery are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their physician to determine if their orthopedic implant is one of the models recalled. While surgery may address some problems, delay in treatment will only worsen the outcome. While physicians may skillfully assess the situation, and suggest if any damage has occurred due to a faulty implant, only a Lawyer can help you to determine if compensation may be available.

If you, a family member, or friend have suffered due to a DePuy defective hip replacement, contact a defective hip replacement lawyer at Finz & Finz, P.C., now toll free at (855) TOP-FIRM to speak with an experienced product liability attorney or simply fill out the Free DePuy Defective Hip Replacement Case Evaluation form.