DePuy Orthopaedics has announced that its ASR hip-replacement system will no longer be sold because of its apparent high failure rate. Initially, the Johnson & Johnson division announced that device would be phased out because its sales numbers had dropped. Earlier this month, physicians were sent a sent a letter from DePuy warning them about the possibility of problems related to ASR hip replacement. In addition, a New York Times report states that these failures occurred because the devices are difficult to implant, according to some medical experts.
DePuy officials stated that such problems generally appear in patients who are small in stature, including women and those who have weak bones. Over the past two years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received complaints from approximately 300 recipients of the ASR device. The problems usually began soon after the system was implanted, and as a result, additional hip-replacement surgery – both costly and painful – was necessary.
Health care professionals maintain that metal-on-metal hip implants, including the ASR model, can release particles of metal into the body—damaging soft tissue, causing inflammation, and leading to bone loss. In England, researchers completed a study of 660 patients who were recipients of this type of implant from DePuy Orthopaedics and discovered that 3.4 percent of them had been adversely affected by metallic debris. Surgeons also indicate that 1 to 3 percent of all those who receive a metal-on-metal hip implant may experience similar problems, and that they may also need to have these systems replaced to avoid further complications.
DePuy has announced that it will phase out the ASR devices by the end of the year, and although they have been widely used throughout the world, the company said that it considered the system’s failure rate to be new information that had no influence on their decision to withdraw it from the market.
A number of companies manufacture devices that are similar to the ASR, and many have claimed that there is no serious risk to patients from metallic debris. A growing number of experts in the field disagree with such claims and warn physicians and surgeons to stay clear of the metal hip replacements, or to use them only in situations of great necessity and when extreme caution is practiced in the installation.
If you or a loved one has experienced injuries or health complications caused by metal hip replacements, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with defective medical devices. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.