When DePuy Orthopaedics recalled two of its hip implant systems last August – the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR XL Acetabular system and the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System – there were numerous scientific studies demonstrating the severe side effects of the DePuy hip implant systems to patients. One of the problems that these scientific studies found to be associated with the DePuy hip implants was a high failure rate. Scientists also found problems with elevated metal levels in the tissue and bloodstream of patients who had metal-on-metal hip implants such as the DePuy hip implants. In the time since DePuy recalled its hip implants, additional reports, including reports from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), have continued to affirm that patients face severe risks from the recalled DePuy hip implants.

Here is a summary of some of the studies that reported on the side effects from DePuy hip implants, which helped lead to the recall of the products by DePuy.

DePuy Hip Implants and the NJR Data

Reporting on unpublished 2010 data, the National Joint Registry (“NJR”) of England and Wales found a five-year revision rate of approximately 12% for the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System and approximately 13% for the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System – well in excess of the revision rates for other hip implants.

DePuy Hip Implants and the Australian Orthopaedic Association

For a number of years, the Australian Orthopaedic Association (“AOA”) has highlighted the terrible risks associated with DePuy hip implants.

A 2007 report by the National Joint Replacement Registry of the AOA found that the DePuy ASR Resurfacing System “has twice the risk of revision compared to all other resurfacing procedures” and that the cumulative percent revision at two years for the DePuy ASR hip implant “is 5.16%.”

The following year, the AOA issued a report examining the DePuy ASR and the BHR and Durom implants. The number of revisions observed was highest for the DePuy hip implant, with a cumulative percent revision of 6.0% – higher than Durom’s (5.8%) and more than twice as high as the BHR rate (2.5%).

Then, the AOA’s 2009 report declared that the DePuy ASR and the Durom “continue to demonstrate more than twice the risk of revision compared to other resurfacing prostheses.” In particular, the 2009 report explained that the eight year cumulative percent revision of the BHR was 5.0 percent, but that the five year cumulative percent revision for the DePuy hip implant was 8.7% – “higher than the BHR at eight years.”

In 2010, the AOA reported that the DePuy ASR had the highest cumulative percent revision, at 10.9%, while the BHR implant had the lowest, at 3.5%.

DePuy Hip Implants and Metal-on-Metal Problems

The problems associated with DePuy hip implants that were reported in the scientific literature went beyond the high failure rate of the DePuy hip implants and discussed other significant medical problems. For example, a 2004 paper in the Journal of Arthroplasty declared that the “single greatest concern with the use of a metal-on-metal bearing continues to be the elevated levels of metal ions measurable in patients’ blood and urine following implantation.” The DePuy hip implants recalled by DePuy are metal-on-metal implants.

DePuy Hip Implants And The Press

In addition, there were many articles in the mainstream media discussing problems with DePuy hip implants before the DePuy recall. For example, on March 3, 2010, the New York Times reported on studies that showed that metal-on-metal hip implants such as the DePuy hip implant “can shed atomic-size particles of metals like chromium and cobalt that can be readily absorbed by tissue or enter the bloodstream.” The Times article also discussed an editorial in The Journal of Arthroplasty, a medical journal for orthopedic surgeons, that urged surgeons to use metal-on-metal hip implants only with “great caution, if at all.”

DePuy Hip Implants: Key Problems In A Nutshell

As these studies and articles point out, the DePuy hip implants suffer from a high failure rate, and the metal-on-metal design is known to cause problems to patients as a result of metals being absorbed by patient’s tissue and entering their bloodstream. Unfortunately, DePuy’s recall of its hip implant products came too late for thousands of hip implant recipients.

DePuy Hip Recall Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has experienced any problems as a result of a DePuy hip implant, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. Contact one of our lawyers today for a free and confidential DePuy hip recall lawsuit evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by