DePuy Orthopaedics recalled its ASR Hip Resurfacing System and ASR XL Acetabular System in 2010 after studies showed high failure rates in the hip implants. People who received the hips may have legal options.
Numerous patients have since required a second hip replacement surgery to correct issues associated with the DePuy devices, and thousands of lawsuits have already been filed against the manufacturer — a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson — following the onset of painful and debilitating side effects. In November 2013, J&J reportedly agreed to settle most of the ASR lawsuits for $4 billion.
Data from a study conducted by the National Joint Registry of England and Wales revealed that five years following the initial implantation surgery, 12 percent of patients who were implanted with the ASR resurfacing device and 13 percent of those who received the ASR total hip replacement required a second hip replacement surgery to correct problems associated with the devices. According to evidence presented at the first ASR trial in early 2013, up to 40 percent of ASR devices are expected to fail within five years of implantation.
Recipients of the DePuy ASR hip implant devices may be entitled to legal compensation for current and future health issues.
Complications and Possible Design Flaw
The DePuy ASR products have been implanted in more than 93,000 patients internationally.
Prior to the recall, studies noted various painful and sometimes permanent side effects associated with the DePuy hip systems, including:
- Loose ASR cup
- Allergic reaction to metallic debris
- Pseudotumors (soft tissue mass that can form as a result of reactions to excess metallic debris)
- Cobalt or chromium poisoning
Additionally, many doctors believe that the DePuy ASR hip cup component is too shallow, which prevents proper implantation and can lead to hip complications.
At the time of the recall, DePuy said it had made the decision because of the number of patients who required revision surgery to remove the devices after they had failed.
But DePuy maintains that the “ASR was tested for years before receiving regulatory clearance” and that “once on the market, we carefully considered all the data and investigated product complaints individually, while also looking for broader performance trends.”
Another DePuy hip implant, called the Pinnacle, exhibits metal-on-metal complications but has not been recalled. The metal liner of the Pinnacle was discontinued in mid-2013.
Hip Replacement Recall
If you received either the ASR Hip Resurfacing System or the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System during a hip replacement surgery, you may have been contacted by DePuy Orthopaedics or Johnson & Johnson in recent months regarding the recall of these devices. It is important to seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer before seeing a doctor or signing any paperwork provided by the companies, as you may be signing a waiver that keeps you from receiving any compensation for future medical expenses that may arise.
Though the companies may offer compensation to you, the compensation may not cover some medical expenses, blood tests or diagnostic exams that may be recommended by a doctor to check for certain complications such as metallosis, or a serious allergic reaction to metal debris in the body. The compensation package also may not cover other expenses such as lost wages, loss of earning capacity or pain and suffering.
It is recommended that patients speak with an attorney about legal options prior to signing any documents provided by DePuy Orthopaedics or Johnson & Johnson.