The high hip replacement failure rate of DePuy’s recalled ASR metal-on-metal hip implants has raised new concerns for British health authorities, who fear that patients who received the devices were never notified. Given the severe metal-on-metal hip implant problems reported by patients, in January 2012, British health authorities sent letters to surgeons alerting them of the possibility that their patients may not have received the voluntary worldwide August 2010 recall notice. According to The Sunday Telegraph, records held by DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, showed that just over one-third of the patients who received the recalled ASR devices participated in the recall program. This is particularly troublesome given that many symptoms of hip replacement failure can go unnoticed. The British Orthopaedic Association fears that some of the 40,000 patients who may have experienced metal-on-metal hip implant problems are unaware of the recall.

Though it is possible that some patients with metal-on-metal hip implant problems did undergo checkups at hospitals without being centrally logged, the president of the British Orthopaedic Association, Joe Dias, is concerned that some patients may not visit their doctors to undergo testing for signs of hip replacement failure. He told The Telegraph that some patients may have experienced hip replacement failure, but may have not received adequate follow up for their metal-on-metal hip implant problems from their surgeons, who may have retired since the August 2010 recall. DePuy is unable to contact patients directly as they lack access to patients’ medical records.

Serious Hip Replacement Failure Leads To Worldwide Lawsuits

The frequency of hip replacement failure and hip implant injuries are especially alarming because the metal-on-metal hip implants were marketed towards and often implanted in younger patients. Metal-on-metal hip implant problems manifest when the friction between the metal ball and cup chips the implant and pieces of it seep into the blood, causing inflammation that can destroy muscle and bone. The fragments that contain cobalt and chromium may also cause damage to major organs. According to The Telegraph, Peter Walsh, from the patient safety charity Action Against Medical Accidents said, “It is outrageous that this has been allowed to happen and that patients who are at risk from these products have not been warned.”

The metal-on-metal hip implant problems were exemplified in data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, which showed that 1 out of every 8 patient (12%-13%) who received the ASR hip implants experienced hip replacement failure, and required revision surgery within five years. This data was the impetus for the 2010 worldwide recall. Currently, DePuy is defending hip replacement lawsuits all over the world stemming from the metal-on-metal hip implant problems. Approximately 37,000 Americans received a DePuy ASR hip implant.

The hip replacement lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are actively filing lawsuits on behalf of those who suffered from metal-on-metal hip implant problems. If you received a DePuy ASR hip replacement and suffered from hip replacement failure, our team of qualified and dedicated lawyers can help you collect compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn about your legal options.

Published February 24, 2012 by