DePuy Hip Implant Lawsuit Says Company Ignored Defects
Five Chicago residents have filed a DePuy lawsuit against J&J’s unit, accusing the device maker of ignoring evidence its ASR hip implants. The complaint also alleges the company took too long to recall the faulty DePuy hip implant.
In August, DePuy issued a worldwide recall of the ASR XL Acetabular System, a hip socket used in traditional hip replacement, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, a partial hip replacement that involves placing a metal cap on the ball of the femur. Only the ASR XL Acetabular System was approved for use in the US.
The DePuy recall was issued after data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales showed that 1 out of every 8 patients (12%-13%) who had received the recalled devices had to undergo revision surgery within five years of receiving it. A hip implant should last for 15 years or so.
The recall followed a warning DePuy issued in March 2010 regarding the same implant. In a letter, DePuy warned doctors that recently analyzed data from Australia suggested that the ASR had a higher-than-expected failure rate when used in traditional hip replacement on certain types of patient. According to the letter, patients of small stature, a group that typically includes women and patients with weak bones, faced the highest risk.
The Chicago DePuy hip implant lawsuit alleges wear and tear within the artificial joint allegedly released dangerous cobalt and chromium ions into the bloodstream. The husband of one of the plaintiffs told ABC 7 News that his wife “can’t do anything. (She’s) in deep pain. I have two children. I have to take care of them take care of her.” The woman is in the hospital having her DePuy hip implant removed, ABC 7 News said.
It is believed that many of the DePuy hip replacement complications are caused by wearing of the metal components, which can allow metal shavings to make their way into patients’ bloodstreams. The resulting cobalt poisoning could increase the risk of a number of heath problems, including dementia and heart failure. DePuy now recommends that implant patients have a blood test to check for high levels of chromium and cobalt.