The DePuy Recall of 2010

It is estimated that 93,000 hip replacement surgery patients have received an ASR Hip Replacement System that is part of the DePuy ASR recall. New data shows that five years after implantation, approximately 12% of patients who had received the ASR resurfacing device and 13% of patients who had received the ASR total hip replacement needed to have a revision surgery. For this reason, DePuy Orthopaedics is recalling its ASR™ XL Acetabular System and DePuy ASR™ Hip Resurfacing System. This recall means additional testing and monitoring may be necessary to ensure your hip implant is functioning well. In some cases patients may need additional surgery. If you have received an ASR™ XL Acetabular System or DePuy ASR™ Hip Resurfacing System, both of which will be referred to as your hip implant, the following information will help you understand what this recall means to you and the steps you should take. Note: The DePuy ASR™ Hip Resurfacing System was only approved for use outside the U.S. and the ASR™ XL Acetabular System was available worldwide.

Signs and Symptoms

The patients who reported problems in the first five years and had revision surgery reported a variety of symptoms. These symptoms included pain, swelling and problems walking. These symptoms are normal if you have just had a hip replacement. If the symptoms continue or come back, it is a sign that there may be a problem.

The symptoms above might be caused by problems such as:

  • Loosening – when the implant does not stay attached to the bone in the correct position
  • Fracture – where the bone around the implant may have broken
  • Dislocation – where the two parts of the implant that move against each other are no longer aligned

The ASR Hip is made up of ball and socket components that move against each other. These metal components wear over time and generate very small particles that can only be seen with a microscope. This is an expected process. These particles do not cause problems for most patients, but a small number of patients may react to these particles, causing fluid to collect in the joint and in the muscles around the joint. While this condition may initially be painless, if left untreated, this reaction may cause pain and swelling around the joint and could damage some of the muscles, bones, and nerves around the hip. This often results in the need for a second surgery.

Having a second surgery is costly and painful. Second surgeries can be more difficult to recover from and you may be left with some chronic pain. It is never good to have unnecessary surgery. Each surgery puts your body through a period of trauma and recovery. If the second surgery is the result of a faulty product, as in the case of a DePuy Hip Replacement, then you need the help of a DePuy Lawyer and may have to file a DePuy Lawsuit.

Cobalt Poisoning

According to an article published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, metal-on-metal hip implants used in hip replacement surgeries may lead to the development of a serious condition known as cobaltism, or excessive levels of the metal cobalt in the bloodstream and tissues of the body.

Based on case studies of documented cobalt poisonings, the article describes two patients from Alaska who developed the condition after receiving DePuy ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) metal-on-metal hip implants.

The patients were “fit, well, forty-nine-year-old men at the time of metal-on-metal arthroplasty with ASR implants,” as described by study author Dr. Stephen S. Tower.

Within one year of the hip implant surgery, both patients experienced symptoms of persistent hip pain and shortness of breath as the microscopic metallic particles from the hip implant were released into the bloodstream and tissues.

Two years after the hip implantation, the patients in the study experienced more tell-tale symptoms of cobaltism, which can include irritability, fatigue, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, headaches, loss of coordination, cognitive decline, and depression. The condition may also lead to blindness, convulsions, nerve damage and disease of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).

In addition to the neurological and cardiac problems, cobaltism can also cause tissue damage that can complicate future revision surgeries intended to replace the damaged metal implant.

Do I have a Depuy Hip Replacement Lawsuit?

If you believe you or someone you know has been injured following a Depuy hip replacement please contact Slater Slater Schulman LLP at 1-800-251-6990 or fill out our online form and an attorney will contact you immediately.