In late August, 2010, DePuy Orthapedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, announced they were recalling two kinds of hip implants. The Food and Drug Administration had received consumer complaints about the hip implants for the last two years. Since 2008, there have been nearly 400 complaints of device failure.
The hip implant failure resulted in patients needing second painful surgeries to replace the first defective hip implant device. It is estimated that around 93,000 people have received the defective hip implant worldwide.
The two recalled DePuy hip implants are the ASR XL Acetabular System, a hip socket replacement and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, which is a partial hip replacement and puts a metal cap on the ball of the femur. The Acetabular System has been sold all over the world and the resurfacing system has been in use in countries outside of the US.
The ASR hip implants are part of a larger group of medical devices known as metal-on-metal bearings. These devices have known problems generating debris from wear. Some patients develop tissue damage and inflammation as a result.
Last March, the British agency that regulates medical devices issued an advisory about the ASR problems. DePuy began warning doctors about high failure rates in the hip implant the same month the British advisory came out. Prior to this, DePuy claimed they were phasing out the hip implant device due to slow sales.
Failure rates as high as 12 and 13 percent within five years of the patient receiving the medical device were measured. Some doctors and orthopedic experts have expressed dismay that the hip implants were not recalled sooner.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a DePuy hip implant, you should contact our attorneys today.