DePuy issued a U.S. recall of its metal-on-metal ASR hip implants in August of 2010 (after 93,000 implant procedures) because of an extremely high failure rate requiring patients to have revision surgeries. Evidence so far indicates that the device is exceedingly difficult for orthopaedic surgeons to implant properly. For background on the DePuy saga, see prior DePuy Drug Recall Lawyer Blog entries.
The hip implant was withdrawn from the Australian market in late 2009. DePuy (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) told the public in the U.S. shortly thereafter that it was phasing out the implant because they were “focusing on newer technologies.”
The Australian Senate likened these hip implants to “ticking time bombs.” They want a system put in place to monitor adverse outcomes for hip implant patients, and they want to make sure doctors and patients are aware of the problems they may be facing. Most importantly, they want to make sure implant patients are continually monitored for future problems.
The medical monitoring program would help people to be regularly evaluated for metallosis, blood poisoning caused by metal fragments from the implants. So far, 430 out of 5,500 Australian patients have undergone a second surgery because of the faulty implant—that’s almost a ten percent failure rate. The real number is probably higher—many patients may be in line for that surgery, and experts believe that many more installed devices will fail within about six years of implant.
If you have had a DePuy ASR hip implant, and you are experiencing problems or have had to replace the implant, contact us at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.
Sources: Sydney Morning Herald