Written by Andrew Sarski on May 17, 2011
DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, developed these hip implants in July 2003, and because of a higher than normal failure rate, recalled both devices in 2010. Unfortunately, this recall came too late for thousands of individuals who have already received the DePuy total hip replacement or the DePuy hip resurfacing implant, and who may now be in danger of experiencing serious adverse side effects as a result. A number of serious complications have arisen from the flawed nature of these implants, including a condition called AVAL, or an aseptic lymphocyte dominated vasculitis associated lesion.
What is an AVAL lesion?
An aseptic lymphocyte dominated vasculitis associated lesion is a tissue reaction resulting from the metal particles generated by the movement of metal components against one another. Metal debris from an implant can cause severe adverse reactions in the body, including damage to the nerves, bones, and muscles surrounding the hip, as well as significant pain and swelling around the joint. The clinical features of AVAL are nonspecific, but patients suffering from this condition generally experience pain and may develop masses called psuedotumors. A pseudotumor is an enlargement which resembles a tumor, resulting from inflammation, fluid accumulation or other causes.
DePuy Hip Replacement and Resurfacing AVAL Complications
AVAL is believed to develop from either a toxic reaction to an excess of metal debris, or a hypersensitivity reaction to a normal amount of metal particulate. Health care professionals have become increasingly concerned about the dangers of metal-on-metal devices like the DePuy implants, because they can shed metal particles into the body, which can damage soft tissue, cause inflammatory issues, and lead to bone loss. This damage and inflammation can also result in a loosening of the device, which may lead to more severe pain and the potential for more serious medical reactions.
Connection Between the DePuy Hip Implants and AVAL
The DePuy hip implants appear to have a high failure rate compared with other hip replacement devices. According to the FDA, since 2008, the agency has received approximately 400 complaints from patients in the United States who have received one of these two DePuy hip implants. It is estimated that 250,000 people receive hip implants each year in the United States alone. Approximately one-third of those individuals receive metal-on-metal implants like those made by DePuy, and of those who receive a DePuy hip implant, a large percentage will suffer from serious complications resulting from metal toxicity.
A number of orthopedic doctors have suggested that the failure of the DePuy hip implant is a result of a design flaw, making the device difficult to implant properly. According to The New York Times, other problems associated with the DePuy metal-on-metal implant include the potential for the device to generate large amounts of metal debris during normal wear and tear, which can result in serious medical issues. The DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip System and the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System first became available in July 2003. If you received a DePuy hip implant after this date and you have since experienced an aseptic lymphocyte dominated vasculitis associated lesion, the only way to protect your rights is to hire a defective product lawyer to represent your case.
A Defectuve DePuy Hip Implant Attorney Can Help
Unfortunately, the decisive DePuy recall came two years after the FDA began to field complaints about side effects of the DePuy hip implant, a significant amount of time during which thousands of patients were implanted with the potentially faulty devices. Victims of serious injury resulting from a defective product are not at fault and may be entitled to reimbursement for their injuries. Product manufacturing companies should be held accountable for the safety of their products and any injuries sustained by consumers of their products when used in an appropriate manner. If you or a loved one has suffered from an aseptic lymphocyte dominated vasculitis associated lesion, or AVAL, and you believe the DePuy hip implant to be the cause, contact a defective product attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a defective product lawsuit. Defective product lawyers have the expertise and knowledge necessary to help you develop a successful case against DePuy and collect the compensation you deserve.