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DePuy Hip Recall
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Hip Implant Risks May Include Premature Failure.

In 2003, DePuy released the ASRTM XL Acetabular System, a hip implant that was touted to last up to 20 years with a stronger, more durable metal-on-metal design. Approximately 93,000 people around the world weighed the risks of surgery against their current level of pain and discomfort and chose to receive a hip implant that they believed would give them 15 to 20 years of pain-free movement.

DePuy issued a hip recall earlier this year, which means a disturbing number of those patients will likely have to undergo a hip revision surgery-years ahead of schedule. 

With a typical hip replacement, the patient is able to resume a normal life after three to six months of recovery. There are a number of "common" problems, such as loosening joints, fractures, and occasionally dislocation. Hip implant recipients are informed beforehand that the risk of these types of failure is .5-3%.

The admitted failure rate of the ASR XL Acetabular System is 13%-meaning, this is the number acknowledged by DePuy. Mounting evidence suggests that the failure rate is higher than that, especially if one doesn't limit the definition of "failure" to DePuy's narrow view.

The major flaw, as we've said in other articles about the problems with the ASR XL Acetabular System, is the engineering. The two pieces of the implant rub together as the patient moves, releasing microscopic particles of chromium and cobalt into the bloodstream. Some patients experience pain when this happens; others have no idea of the damage being done to the bone and tissue surrounding the hip implant. Some patients and doctors have reported a loosening of the joints in the hip implant, fracturing of the surrounding bone, and full-out dislocation.

Every hip implant releases small particles of the device's materials into the bloodstream, but the quantities are so small that the body can release them from the bloodstream as waste. In the ASR XL Acetabular System, the quantities being released are sometimes so great that the body can't get rid of them efficiently, causing metallosis.

According to DePuy's website, "the patients who reported problems in the first five years and had revision surgery reported a variety of symptoms." So far, DePuy hasn't listed those symptoms on their website, but the current evidence reveals metal poisoning, bone deterioration, and tissue necrosis, as well as metallosis.

Before any surgery, the surgeon is required to meet with the patient and go over the potential risks. Most people are familiar with the idea of informed consent, which essentially states that patients should understand the facts, implications, and future consequences of any medical decision they're being asked to make.

With hip implant surgery, the potential problems include malignant hyperthermia, infections, respiratory issues, and blood clots that can cause strokes. These are the basic risks for any major surgery; a hip implant patient would've been informed of that fact. The recovery process also has risks, as does refusing to have the surgery. Risks are part of the decision to receive or not receive a hip implant. 

However, DePuy never informed the patients who were receiving the ASR XL Acetabular System that their hip implant might have a number of risks above and beyond those of major surgery. DePuy never informed the surgeon performing the procedure that the hip implant's engineering hadn't been tested by the FDA-or that many patients, especially women, had already reported problems only a few years into the life of their hip implant.

DePuy certainly failed to inform both the surgeons and the patients that their product could mean a revision surgery in less than three years-a fraction of the 15- to 20-year time frame their advertising campaign promised.

The hip implants recall issued by DePuy was voluntary-but it was too little too late. According to their website, "DePuy intends to cover reasonable and customary costs of testing and treatment associated with the ASR recall, including revision surgery if it is necessary... This will allow DePuy to process other reasonable out-of-pocket costs, such as lost work time and travel expenses, which may be reimbursed. These costs will be more clearly defined shortly and are subject to review on a case-by-case basis."

"Out-of-pocket costs" means everything that's not covered by the insurance company-and insurance companies haven't exactly developed a reputation for being forthcoming with treatments that keep the patient's health at the forefront of considering factors. They're more likely to choose the least costly option, which means that many of these patients will find themselves in a lawsuit over what is and is not a necessary medical procedure.

This is the last thing any of these patients with failing hip implants needs. They needed a hip implant-not costly procedures and legal battles to make sure they get the care they need to replace the damage that was done. They also need full compensation for all their losses and damages, not just out-of-pocket costs.

Every patient who undergoes major surgery takes a risk. Those who received a DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System weren't merely asked to take a risk, however-they're being asked to take the fall.

If you received an ASR XL Acetabular System, we're here to answer your questions and let you know how we can help. Give us a call at 1-800-677-7095.

Contact Us

If you think you have a DePuy hip implant and would like to know more about the case, give our offices a call at 1-800-677-7095. Our people are standing by to answer your questions and explain how we can help.

DePuy Crib Sheets

Deciding what you want to do in the aftermath of this hip recall is extremely difficult. There are important medical and legal decisions to make, and you may not be feeling up to the task of figuring out the right questions to ask. We thought we'd try to make that a little easier for you.

Medical Crib Sheets
Legal Crib Sheets

Learn more about the DePuy Hip Recall Cheat Sheets or just go right ahead and download them - they're absolutely free and we hope they help during this difficult time.

DePuy Recall In The News

As new updates appear in the news on the DePuy hip recall and the ASR XL Acetabular System, we put those links up here so you can stay informed. If you'd like to be notified when we have news updates, please subscribe to our feed.

August 22, 2012
Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Pay About $200,000 Per Case to Settle Three ASR Lawsuits in Nevada

June 27, 2012
FDA Holds Hearing on Metal Hips But Dodges Fundamental Question of Inadequacy of Testing 

March 12, 2012
Too Little Too Late? Researchers Conclude Metal on Metal Hip Replacements Should Not Be Used.

»Read our complete archive of articles about the Depuy hip recall.

Have Questions?

We've got answers. We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive from incoming clients and given you our most informed answers. We explain the lawsuit, why you don't need to spend any money to hire an attorney, and the risks to your health.

You can also browse our Stay Informed section for full articles on the case against DePuy and the medical problems with the ASR XL Acetabular total hip replacement system, or contact us directly.

View our FAQs on the DePuy hip recall.

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