Metal-on-metal hip implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of medical device maker Johnson & Johnson, may be prone to early failure and may even expose patients to devastating and potentially life-threatening side effects, like metal blood poisoning, bone fractures, infection, nerve and bone damage, and more. If you believe you have been harmed by side effects of a DePuy hip replacement or resurfacing implant, contact an experienced defective hip implant lawyer today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your alleged hip implant injuries and medical expenses.
Due to the potential for metal-on-metal hip implants to cause serious and long-lasting side effects, many individuals in need of a hip replacement are looking for alternative treatment options that offer similar benefits but without the added risk of serious side effects. Some safer alternatives to DePuy metal-on-metal hip implants may include the following:
In fact, in light of the potential for all-metal hip implants to cause serious complications in users, the FDA recommends that surgeons only use metal-on-metal hip implants if the benefits and risks of using an all-metal system outweigh the benefits of using an alternative hip implant system.
December 2009 – DePuy withdraws the ASR hip implant from the Australian market, and details a plan to phase the device out worldwide by 2010, citing slow sales as the reason for its removal.
March 2010 – DePuy finally acknowledges in a letter to doctors that its ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system is defective and prone to early failure. At this time, the FDA has already received hundreds of reports of early failure involving the ASR hip implant system.
August 2010 – DePuy issues a recall of both its ASR XL Acetabular System and its ASR Hip Resurfacing System, citing a higher-than-normal rate of failure.
February 2011 – The FDA launches an all-metal hip implant webpage to provide consumers and doctors with updated safety information and recommendations regarding metal-on-metal hip replacement systems.
May 2011 – The FDA warns that there are “unique risks” for metal-on-metal hip implants, and orders all manufacturers of these artificial hips to conduct studies to determine how often the all-metal hips are failing.
2011 – Johnson & Johnson estimates in an internal document that the ASR hip implant would fail within five years in 40% of patients who received the artificial hip.
June 2012 – The Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Advisory Panel is convened to explore the safety and effectiveness of all-metal hip implants, and indicates that there is little reason for surgeons to continue using the medical devices.
September 2012 – Australian regulators recommend routine blood tests and soft tissue imaging for all individuals implanted with a metal-on-metal hip implant.
January 2013 – The FDA issues a safety communication providing consumers and doctors with updated information about the safety and effectiveness of all-metal hip implants.
January 2013 – Federal regulators issue a proposed order requiring the manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip implants to submit premarket approval applications.
May 2013 – DePuy removes its Complete and Ultamet metal-on-metal hip implant liners from the market, and announces that it is phasing out all-metal devices in favor of plastic and ceramic implants.
November 2013 – Hospitals in the United Kingdom ban all-metal hip replacement systems, due to higher-than-normal failure rates.
November 2010 – Researchers from the UK publish a study on the failure rate of the Ultima metal liner, designed to be used with DePuy’s Ultima Metal-on-Metal Acetabular Cup, and found that 13.8% of hips required revision surgery after failing. During the revision surgeries, doctors found a number of serious complications, including cloudy fluid pockets in the hip, ruptured tendons and necrosis (tissue death).
October 2011 – In a special report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers examined a Department of Justice settlement agreement with five major hip implant manufacturers – DePuy, Biomet, Smith & Nephew, Stryker and Zimmer – and found that orthopedic surgeons received payments from these five companies for consulting, research and clinical study work, as well as royalties on products they helped develop.
February 2012 – The British Medical Journal and BBC launch an investigation into metal-on-metal hip replacement systems, and report that there may be hundreds of thousands of patients who have defective hip implants that may expose them to toxic metal.
March 2012 – All-metal hip implants like DePuy’s ASR hip replacement system are significantly more likely to fail than other hip implant models, according to research published in The Lancet.
March 2012 – Research conducted by the National Joint Registry of England and Wales indicates that 12% of patients who received the DePuy ASR hip implant, and 13% of those who received the ASR total hip replacement system, required revision surgery after five years.
June 2012 – A study published in Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery suggests that patients who receive metal-on-metal total hip replacements may face a ten-times greater risk of developing semi-solid masses called pseudotumors.
December 2012 – A study published in the medical journal Orthopedics details the case of a 54-year-old woman who received the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant and developed soft-tissue growths called bursal cysts in her hip, allegedly caused by metal fragments shed by the implant during use. According to the study, the cysts cut off circulation to the woman’s lower leg and she eventually required revision surgery to replace the device with a ceramic hip.
February 2013 – Women are 29% more likely than men to require revision surgery for metal-on-metal hip implant failure within three years, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
According to a growing body of research, as many as 50% of patients implanted with a DePuy hip implant may require revision surgery within six years of the artificial hip being implanted, and individuals across the country who received defective hip implants are suing DePuy, alleging that the medical device maker is guilty of several counts of negligence, including:
According to DePuy hip implant complaints, the medical device maker knew about problems with its metal-on-metal hips as early as 2007, but waited until 2010 to issue a recall of its ASR Hip Resurfacing System and ASR XL Acetabular system.
Approximately 250,000 people undergo hip replacement surgery every year in the United States, and patients who received DePuy artificial hip implants may now be at risk for serious complications that may require revision surgery to remove and replace the device. If you received a DePuy hip implant in the past, and you have since experienced side effects like implant fracture, loosening or dislocation, metal blood poisoning, or any other complication that results in the failure of the artificial hip, contact our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation today. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by defective medical products, and can help put you in touch with a knowledgeable attorney who has experience handling defective hip implant claims.