Johnson & Johnson, the makers of DePuy Orthopaedics’ hip implant, estimated in 2011 that 36 percent of its all-metal devices surgically implanted in patients would fail within five years, according to The New York Times. However, the medical giant chose not to release the failure rate information for the Articular Surface Replacement, or ASR, which was recalled in mid-2010. The company’s information also indicates that implants are likely to fail prematurely during the next few years, meaning that thousands more patients will have to undergo painful, expensive surgery to replace the bad implants.
The massive failure of the hip implant device is one of the most extensive in recent decades, affecting thousands of people across the U.S. and the world. Approximately 93,000 patients worldwide have received a DePuy hip replacement, with about 31,000 procedures happening in the Unites States. In fact, more than 10,000 lawsuits are preparing to go to trial this week. About 7,000 lawsuits have been consolidated in Ohio federal court while 2,000 others have been consolidated in state court in California. It appears the company knew about problems with the metal hip-replacement implant back in 2008, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.
The hip replacement hardware is a ball and cup device made out of metal. The problem is that these pieces grind against each other, releasing tiny metallic pieces that damage the patient’s nearby tissue and bone. Problems that might be caused by the DePuy hip implant include:
- hip pain – this common symptom may be severe and constant in the leg and hip area near the ASR hip implant location
- hip numbness – the opposite of pain, numbness may occur around your hip area
- noises coming from your hip area - these include popping, grinding, clicking or squeaking
- hip swelling – enlargement may occur around the hip area near the DePuy hip implant
- hip dislocation – the design of the DePuy hip implant makes the ball likely to fall out of the socket, causing hip dislocation
- hip loosening – patients describe a feeling as if the DePuy hip implant could come out of the bone
- changes in the way you walk – your ability to walk easily may change due to failure of your DePuy hip implant
- hip weakness – you may experience weakness in your hip’s joint
- bone fracture – you may have broken other bones near your hip after you have undergone surgery for a hip implant
- metallosis – the DePuys ARS implants are made of metal, so when the ball and socket grind against other, they can release tiny bits of metal into your bloodstream. The metals, chromium and cadmium, can build up in your bloodstream and cause unsafe levels of metal in your body.
If you have noticed any of these problems, contact your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon right away to see if your DePuy ARS hip replacement is failing.
Hip implants are generally made out of plastic and metal and last for up to 15 years before they wear out and need to be replaced through an additional surgery. Hip implants can fail prematurely, of course, but that failure rate is typically only one percent after a year, or five percent at five years. A failure rate of nearly 40 percent is unacceptable.
If you have had a DePuy hip implant that is causing you problems, contact Carr & Carr Attorneys immediately. Our personal injury lawyers have helped people who have been injured because of defective medical devices. Call 1-877-392-4878 to talk with an attorney today to find out what your rights are. Or contact us by email and we will respond as quickly as possible. With offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa in Oklahoma, plus Springdale in Northwest Arkansas, we can help you no matter where you live.
Also, remember time limits called “statute of limitations” are in effect for filing law suits. You must file a lawsuit before the applicable time limit expires. The time limit and other regulations are different in each state, so talk with the lawyers at Carr & Carr as soon as possible to learn what options you have. There is no cost to you for our initial phone conversation or in-person meeting. Additionally, since we work on a contingency fee basis, you pay for our services only if we settle or win your case.
Based on the circumstances of your hip implant failure, you may be able to receive financial compensation for:
current and future medical bills related to your surgeries and related care
lost wages if your hip implant failure resulted in you missing work
emotional pain and suffering
physical pain and suffering
disfigurement, including from multiple surgeries
possibly other damages, depending on the specifics of your situation.