The currently recalled ASR Hip System, manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics is a metal-on-metal hip replacement device that is currently under investigation for defects. Many side effects of the malfunctioning implant are being recorded, including metallosis, which occurs when the shards of metal in the implant damages the soft tissues surrounding the hip.
Because the metal consists of cobalt and chromium, the implant can be extremely dangerous, possibly even carcinogenic. If the implant becomes loose, friction is transferred to the acetabulum more easily, causing pain. The hip implant may also dislocate completely. In order to heal, the patient may have to undergo revision surgery or be fitted with an alternate hip implant.
DePuy Gave No Warning
DePuy Orthopedics clearly knew that the device was defective, yet waited two years before issuing a recall for the product. In December 2009, they withdrew the ASR hip replacement from Australia. They had even discussed removing the implant from the global market by 2010.
However, the company claimed that the reason for this action was due to slow sales, not to a malfunctioning implant. In March 2010, DePuy issued a letter to physicians contradicting those slumping sales claims. It was only then that DePuy allegedly warned the doctors of the dangers of implantation and failure of the device.
Consequences of Device Failure
When an ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement device fails, shards of metal may be ground into sensitive body tissues, which, in turn, can cause heightened metabolic activity and pain. The hip may also swell and the patient may have trouble walking.
Patients not only experience pain in the areas surrounding the hip, such as the leg or groin areas, but severe inflammatory reactions may also occur. These reactions may cause permanent damage to muscles and other tissues.
In many cases, patients who received the defective implant will require revision surgery or additional hip replacements. In patients who have other serious health conditions, undergoing more surgeries may prolong the recovery time or create life-threatening complications.
On August 26, 2010, DePuy Orthopedics officially recalled the ASR hip implant due to an intervention from the FDA. Prior to August, DePuy had only begun quietly pulling the remaining implants from inventory.
If you or someone you love is suffering from a failed implant, you may be able to secure compensation for damages, pain, and suffering. Contact one of our experienced attorneys. We will provide you with a free consultation and evaluation of your case.
- Lawsuit Against DePuy Filed From Spain (earlsview.com)
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- ‘Metal on metal’ hip implants leave some recipients in pain, at risk (earlsview.com)