DePuy Hip Implant Recall Update

On August 26, 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, announced the recall of its hip implants known as the ASR XL and ASR Hip Resurfacing systems.

More than 93,000 hip implants were sold worldwide before DePuy stopped production in 2009. The latest information indicates that approximately 40,000 were implanted in the United States from sometime before the Food & Drug Administrations (FDA) approval in August 2005 through August 26, 2010, the date of the recall.

While the reported failure rates indicates that as many as one in eight patients may be forced to undergo revision surgery, we believe this underestimates the real number of explants and revisions that ASR hip patients will be forced to undergo.

Lawsuits filed thus far allege the DePuy ASR implant is defective and fails due to certain design flaws. Specifically, the ASR implant is a metal-on-metal implant. Two huge failure issues have emerged with metal-on-metal implants: one, the devices slip or the shell does not sit in place in the hip acetabulum and it resists bone growth; and, two, the friction of metal-on-metal causes microscopic metal shavings to be released into the surrounding blood and tissue.  This release of metal can cause elevated blood levels of cobalt and chromium, which can cause “metallosis”, or an inflammatory reaction to the elevated metals in the tissue and the blood.

If you or a loved one has a DePuy ASR hip implant, you should contact your doctor immediately to be evaluated .  After consulting with your doctor, or if your doctor has already informed you that your hip implant has been recalled, you should contact a lawyer to determine what legal rights and claims you may have against DePuy.