In 2011, Deborah Cohen, investigations editor for the British Medical Journal wrote a piece called “Out of joint: The story of the ASR,” which chronicles the ill-fated history of the DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement systems. Illuminating the depth and breadth of lack of concern for patient well-being at DePuy, I encourage you to read it in its entirety.
Here is an excerpt:
It is one of the biggest disasters in orthopaedic history, according to one senior surgeon. On 24 August 2010, DePuy, a subsidiary of American giant Johnson and Johnson, recalled its ASR (articular surface replacement) hip prostheses from the market. The recall followed years of denial by the company that the ASR implants had caused pain and disability in patients. In a statement to the BMJ, DePuy claim that “given the available information, we believe we made the appropriate decision to recall at the appropriate time.”
Pathologically, the failing prosthesis had several effects. Metal debris from wear of the implant led to a reaction that destroyed the soft tissues surrounding the joint, leaving some patients with long term disability. Ions of cobalt and chromium—the metals from which the implant was made—were also released into the blood and cerebral spinal fluid in some patients.1
The long term effects are uncertain. But the US Food and Drug Administration recommends that patients should be monitored for systemic effects, particularly cardiovascular, neurological, renal, and thyroid signs and symptoms.1
With more than 93 000 ASR implants sold and ongoing litigation in many countries, the situation may prove costly for DePuy. And if lessons are not learnt from this latest episode in the chequered history of hip implant failures, it may also prove costly for the reputations of the regulators and the orthopaedic community.
The ASR is not the first hip implant to be recalled—there have been many others. One such recall in the late 1990s—the 3M Capital Hip—prompted questions about European device regulation2 and a parliamentary investigation by then health minister, Lord Hunt.3 But nor may it be the last—concerns are now being raised about the failure rates of other metal on metal hip implants.4
As a result of this failure to warn by DePuy, a number of ASR lawsuits are currently being filed. If you or a loved one used a metal-on-metal hip replacement by DePuy such as the ASR or ASR XL, you too may be entitled to significant financial compensation. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of DePuy ASR lawyers at the information provided below. 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.