Hip implants require serious surgery. Patients who undergo the hip replacement surgery do so with the understanding that the implants will remain functional for approximately 15 years. The recalled DePuy ASR hip replacement systems began to fail in less than five years for at least 13% of the patients who had them implanted.
Hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of patients have had the recalled DePuy devices removed after experiencing severe pain, inflammation, and even heavy metal poisoning from the metal-on-metal design. When the device degrades, it releases tiny, but toxic, amounts of cobalt and chromium into the patient’s bloodstream, which can result in a host of painful and dangerous symptoms.
Many of the patients around the world who have endured the failure of the recalled hip replacements have filed lawsuits against DePuy and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson. The company makes a promise on its website to cover “out of pocket” expenses associated with the recall. However, they do not address covering pain and suffering, or supporting patients who do not have enough bone density left to allow a new implant to work properly.
DePuy’s website also asks patients to have their failed hip replacements sent to the company and to sign forms giving the company access to their medical records. The forms may also forfeit a patient’s legal rights to seek compensation from the company in court. News Inferno reported that attorneys for plaintiffs against DePuy “have warned that it is inappropriate that the original hip replacement and medical records would come under the control of DePuy … Recipients of the recalled ASR hip implant should not sign anything given to them by DePuy without first consulting an attorney.”
Patients should consult their doctors and an experienced attorney before signing forms or making an agreement with DePuy.
DePuy Orthopedics Staff. (October 21, 2010) “ASR Hip System Recall Guide for Patients.” Retrieved on October 21, 2010 from the DePuy ASR Recall website.
News Inferno Staff. (September 27, 2010) “Advice for Victims of the DePuy ASR Hip Implant Recall.” Retrieved on October 21, 2010 from News Inferno.