Contrary to the good corporate responsibility of Boston Scientific for their quickly recalled defibrillators, DePuy seems to have taken their sweet time with their ASR hip implants, besides trying (and failing) to direct public misinformation on the issue.
First the background: the DePuy ASR hip implant is used for hip resurfacing (which is apparently not an issue), and more traditional hip replacement, which is at issue. The device is a metal-on-metal ball and socket, which can cause metal debris early in the implant’s life. That metal debris causes inflammation and can lead to damaged muscles and soft tissue. The end result is that a very expensive and painful replacement surgery intended to last about 15 years ends up needing revision within two or three years.
The use of the device in the United States started in 2005. Since 2008, the FDA has received approximately 300 complaints (most people don’t complain to the FDA, so this shows that the problem is much larger) from patients or their doctors about the early failure of the device.