Hip replacement using metal-on-metal bearings is a relatively new procedure.  Clinical results have shown that the procedure is generally highly successful when performed properly, and the patient is healthy enough to receive the implant.  One of the issues with metal-on-metal bearings is wear of the device.  Wearing down of the metal device is potentially dangerous as it may alter the natural metal ion concentrations in the blood.  An emerging issue after implantation of the device is the early failure of the device associated with negative reactions to metal debris, but sadly to-date the precise mechanism as to why the debris is accumulating is unclear.

One study conducted to analyze the association between metal debris and failure of the device was performed by DJ Langton et al. and published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in 2010.  The study report is titled “Early failure of metal-on-metal bearings in hip resurfacing and large-diameter total hip replacement.”  The researchers stated “We sought to establish the rate of failure secondary to adverse reactions to metal debris (ARMD) in our patients, to identify relationships between this mode of failure and the wear rate of the prosthetic joint, and to provide a potential explanation for the increased incidence of this in women. “

The study included analysis of 660 metal-on-metal resurfacings, including Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) and Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR), as well as large-bearing ASR total hip replacements.  Various tests were performed including clinical and radiological outcomes, metal ion levels, explant studies and lymphocyte transformation tests.   A total of 17 patients (3.4%) were identified as having adverse reactions to metal debris and required some form of revision.  The patients requiring revision generally had significantly smaller components, significantly higher acetabular component anteversion, and significantly higher concentrations of blood and joint chromium and cobalt ions.

The researchers concluded that “Surgeons must consider implant design, expected component size and acetabular component positioning in order to reduce early failures when performing large-bearing metal-on-metal hip resurfacing and replacement”.

Since many people began using the DePuy ASR/ASRXL hip replacement systems unaware of the risk for metallosis associated with these devices, a number of DePuy ASR lawsuits have been filed.  If you or a loved one used an ASR hip replacement system and suffered one of the above-described complications, or another side effect, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.

For more information, contact our team of DePuy ASR hip replacement lawyers at your convenience.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help!

(855)  452 – 5529


Our DePuy ASR™ / ASR™ XL Hip Replacement Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacements.