DePuy Orthopedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, manufactured and sold 93,000 of their DePuy Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) XL Acetabulars to be used in hip replacement procedures between 2005 and 2010.
The ASR and Pinnacle hip implant units were promoted as high-performance alternatives to the traditional hip replacement systems and were especially attractive for more active patients. Both the ball and the socket were metal and thought to reduce wear, increasing the life of the artificial joint.
This DePuy ASR hip system gained FDA approval in August of 2005. They used the easier fast-track approval known as the 510(k). This process compared their new product to current systems on the market rather than using the more difficult and longer pre-market approval process.
Over the past several years, studies from around the world have warned that metal-on-metal hips like the DePuy ASR can release metal shavings into the bloodstream, causing tissue and bone damage, metal poisoning and, consequently, other long-term health problems.
Following a recall of the hip implants in 2010, the company has announced a settlement that will pay at least $4 billion to thousands of patients who needed hip revision surgery. They also plan to settle claims with those who have not yet undergone the revision surgery.
If you or a family member received a DePuy Hip Implant, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Learning about your legal rights is the first step. You may be eligible to file a metal on metal hip lawsuit. Contact us today.
Studies have shown that wear and tear on the chromium and cobalt used in DePuy ASR hips could emit toxic metal shavings into the bloodstream, resulting in various side effects, including metallic poisoning and an additional hip revision surgery.
Other symptoms of a defective metal hip implant:
Metallic poisoning, or the release of toxic metal shaving from the device into the bloodstream, can cause long-term injury to the body, including other dangerous side effects:
The high probability of developing metallic poisoning has prompted hip replacement surgeries for affected patients.
Hip replacement surgery is an invasive procedure requiring general anesthesia and a hospital stay of several days. Revision surgery is generally performed by removing the old implant and replacing it with a new one. The old devices are removed from the femur and hip socket, and a new device is installed in its place. There is the risk of infection or surgical complications typical of any surgical procedure.
DePuy hip revision patients also have the risk that their femur or pelvic bone may be damaged, making the new device difficult to attach. At the time of surgery, the doctor will evaluate which replacement option or repair would best suit the situation. After the revision surgery, patients often receive preventative antibiotic therapy, as well as intensive physical therapy to maximize the effects of their new hip implants.
Due to these side effects and the high failure rate of metal hips, a recall of the ASR XL Acetabular hip implant was issued in August of 2010. The company originally estimated that about 13 percent of its metal hips would have to be removed and replaced. Now, the prediction is that as many as 44 percent of patients will need revision surgery.
As part of the recall, DePuy will reimburse patients for part of the revision procedure. The company has not offered full compensation for the metallic poisoning with its long-term health effects. In fact, some of the signs and symptoms may be vague and not associated with the metal absorption for some time to come.
In the first of many lawsuits related to the DePuy hip implant, a California jury awarded a retired prison guard $8.3 million for damages. During that trial, evidence was presented that suggested DePuy concealed the risks and dangers that they were aware of years before the recall.
Now, following years of litigation, Johnson & Johnson/DePuy has announced it will pay at least $4 billion to settle claims from those patients who needed revision surgery. They will also settle cases for patients who have yet to have their hips replaced.
Contact us today for more information about the warnings, recall, side effects, and legal news related to DePuy and other metal hips, or to speak with a lawyer. We are available 24 hours a day to help.