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DePuy ASR Metal Hip Replacement Linked to High Failure Rate

DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, has indicated that its ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system, has been linked to a high failure rate and the device will be removed from the market.

While the company initially indicated that the DePuy ASR hip cup was being phased out due to low sales numbers, a letter was sent to doctors on March 6 warning about a potential risk of ASR hip replacement problems. Many patients have experienced hip failures soon after the device was implanted, leading to an additional expensive and painful hip replacement surgery.

According to a report by the New York Times, some medical experts have said that a DePuy ASR cup recall should have been issued earlier, claiming that the failures are linked to a design problem that makes them difficult to implant.

DePuy officials say that ASR hip implant failures are most likely to occur in patients of smaller stature, including women and individuals with weak bones. The FDA has received complaints from about 300 recipients since 2008, most of whom had to undergo another round of hip surgery to replace the defective ASR hip implants.

The ASR is a metal-on-metal hip replacement system. Health care professionals have increasingly been warning about problems with metal-on-metal hip implants, which can shed metal particles into the body. The particles can damage soft tissue, cause inflammatory reactions and lead to bone loss.

Last year, U.K. researchers studied 660 patients who had received metal hip implants from DePuy Orthopaedics and found that 3.4 percent suffered from adverse reactions to metal debris. Surgeons are warning that one to three percent of all metal on metal hip implant recipients may experience hip implant problems, and possibly need to have the devices replaced, due to metallic debris.

DePuy announced it would phase the devices out by late 2010. However, the hip implants have already been put into thousands of people’s bodies worldwide. DePuy said the withdrawal was not caused by the problems, saying that the failure rate was new information.

All of the major orthopedic medical device companies manufacture their own version of “metal on metal” hip implants, and several have said that the metallic debris problem does not pose a significant risk. However, an increasing number of orthopaedic surgeons and experts disagree. In a recent editorial in the Journal of Arthroplasty, the medical journal warned doctors to avoid the use of the metal hip implants, and said they should only be used “with great caution.”

As a result of the increased reports of problems, product liability lawyers are investigating and reviewing potential DePuy ASR metal hip replacement lawsuits for individuals who received the device and experienced complications, including hip replacement failure or other hip problems.

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31 comments

  1. Sherry Reply

    My sister had the De Puy ASR hip replacement device put in her hips 3 years ago. In December, ’09 she had to have the one replaced due to pain, limping and various complications. Much metalic debris was found, and a brownish fluid developed in both hips. She will need to have her other hip redone also. There are numerous concerns–h present health and her future!

  2. J. Sargent Reply

    Failure of total hip replacement in less than 9 months. DuPuy metal on metal components were used. Revision and removal of all components by the Mayo Clinic 14 months later.

  3. Ann Reply

    Failure of total hip replacement 7months later – metal on metal components used. Planning revision surgery now.

  4. Chuck Reply

    on 10/22/08 at the age of 48, I had the De Puy device put into my right hip. By late February of 2009 I started telling my surgeon something didn’t feel right. I complained for the next 9 months as discomfort tuned into pain & i was actually in need of a cane to walk some days. My surgeon would take an xray & state, it’s placement is fine. In November my hip swelled out baseball size. In short, I justhad second much more painful replacement, at the amazing Johns Hopkins Hosp. It was done 3/23/10. I am recovering very slowly.

  5. jackie Reply

    I had bilateral hip replacements 2 and 3 years ago. I have continued pain bilaterally (worse than preoperatively ) and cannot put full weight on one. Doctor tells me there’s nothing wrong.

  6. Gerry Reply

    I had a Dupuy metal-on-metal hip implant put in on 4-11-2006. About a 2 yrs after I started having pain whereby I couldnt sit for long, then at work while at a meeting…the implant became locked out of place where I couldnt move…..I tried to move slightly and it snapped back. I immediately called my surgeon who took xrays the next day and he said it was ok…and not to worry. But, I kept gettting pain since then and finally just 2 weeks ago, on April 25,2010, while sitting at a festival, it became completely dislocated. I could not move, was in extreme pain, and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital emergency room where I remained for 3 hrs. until they finally re-set it under morphine… I’ve been back to my surgeon for a flouroscopy xray where he took excess fluid and blood out from around the implant and he showed me some chips that had been off the implant. also he gave me a shot of cortizone. he indicated I would need to have this upper cup part removed and replaced as soon as possible, and I have been calling and waiting for a return call to schedule the surgery, and and not getting a call back….I have been out of work for 2 weeks due to the constant pain and don’t know even if I am getting paid for my loss of time from work. Also, my doctor/surgeon said it could pop out again at any time. I feel like a walking time bomb.

  7. Fanny Reply

    I had a replacment Oct 2008 I have been in I had notting but Problems. My hip clicks when I walk. The dr says its OK he sent me all sorts of test MRI BONE SCAN and still he says its OK He thinks its from my back BULL. I pay Co Pay for needless Diagnostic test. He says it coming from soft tissue . Everytime I go to see him for a follow up I have to pay for the co pay. I can[t sit for long I can[t put presure I have a lot of pain I am A hairdresser I need to work I don[t know for how long

  8. parrish Reply

    im 50 yrsold i have had 3 hip replacements from the age 29 until now .two of my hip replacements have failed and there is very much pain the first one loosened down in the bone and so did the second one this time with bone lost. my third one i had a bone graph done and with a longer replacement after that the rotating cup removed.but by the time news comes out about recalls .the stature of limitations runs out. we cant blame the docs for what a company makes so there should not be limtations on class actoin law suits all people want is to not be in pain. is ther someone that can help change the stature limitations laws on medical devices because docs did not produce the product companies are at fault .it makes it diffuclt to have turst in doc when they use defective parts.i also read that alot of people backed out of their claims could it be because of what i have experinced about the stature of LIMITIONS. THIS REALLY NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED . BECAUSE THIS IS A PROBLEM.

  9. Diana Reply

    I had a left hip replaced with DuPuy metal components in Feb 2007. It collapsed after ten weeks, a subluxation, as it ‘went back’ after 20 minutes of sheer agony. At the time of the THR my trochanter was broken accidentally. I was in continual pain and the two cerclage wires which were said to be causing inflammation were removed in August 2007. My iliopsoas muscle was also cut to elongate it. In Oct 2008 I had an ultrasound scan and a steroid injection but the trochanter had not united. The radiographer said my pain could be caused by debris. A bone scan in Feb 2009 showed the THR to be loose and in July 2009 I had a hip revision, the two cerclage wires replaced – but one came apart during that week. In March 2010 I had another untrasound scan and another injection with little or no effect on the pain. I am now awaiting a fourth operation to have the wires removed or fixed and another muscle elongated. Today I read in the Sunday Express that DuPuy metal components may be causing severe problems and you can imagine I am very concerned. UK patient, June 2010.

  10. Victor Reply

    Age: 58 Dec. 2001 fell 16′ off roof, landing on my feet. Nov. 2002 due to left knee pain. Have had a total of 6 surgeries on the left knee. 3 left knee replacements. I will come back to the knee later.
    7/10/2009 I was washing the windows at home. My ladder tipped over and I fell 3′ shattering my left hip. 7/11/2009 had hip replaced. Had no pain after the surgery. About 6 weeks later started having thigh pain. Dr. said it was stem pain. Began having severe hip pain, then groin pain.
    Each day was worse than the day before. Dr. could not tell me what was going on. He kept sending for therapy. Making it get worse. The therapist said something is wrong. Had metal allergy testing done. Guess what. I was very allergic to the Cobalt. Dr. referred me to Swedish Hospital before I had the test results back. Took those to the new Dr. Had a Cobalt Serum blood test. Yes I was still very allergic to the Cobalt. I told the new Dr. that I was in a living hell. I begged him to help me. Having replacement surgery on 7/12/2010.
    Back to the knee. The Dr. who put both knee and hip in called me the evening I had met with the Dr. at Swedish. We talked for 20 minutes or so. He says to me, now that explains the pain in your knee, ( after over 2 years of pain.) there is Cobalt in the knee he put in.
    I do not even know how to react to all of this, having had one ortho surgeon tell me to see a shrink. After a lot of research, I find I am not the only crazy person with this problem. What is even more strange is the FAA has a list of materials that are banned from aircraft because of the hazard to humans. Guess which one it is. Cobalt. I am hoping to find the end of the problem. I am very scared as to what the out come may be.

  11. Shirley Reply

    I had my right hip replaced March 2009, my leg had been elongated by 3cm during the surgery and I was in agony. A registrar had done the surgery and not the consultant as I had expected. I had revision surgery in June 2009 which did correct the leg length discrepancy & after a very slow recovery period I started to walk better & managed without a stick, this was only for a short time and now I am suffering extreme pain & finding it very difficult to weight bear. An ultra sound scan has shown fluid build up in and around the joint, I’ve had a nuclear scan(waiting for the results ) and I’m due to have a MRI scan soon despite having a steel cage spinal fusion. I have an appointment at the end of this month to see a consultant & I pray that he will be able to do something to help me very soon as it’s difficult to cope the way I am. Shirley UK patient.

  12. Derrick Reply

    Had a hip replacement in December 2009 and it failed and now having another one in August 2010. A very big inconvienience, cost and the pain.

  13. MG Reply

    I had a double hip replacement in 2006. The dr. felt that the Depuy Hip was my best choice as I was in my late 50’s and active. A year after the operations my left hip began clicking and has been clicking ever since but alot louder and causing movement in the hip with pain in the groin area. The right hip’s stem has been loose since 2006. In 2008 I went back to the dr. and complained about the clicking and movement in the left hip and the pain in the stem area of my right hip. The dr.said nothing was wrong with the left hip but I needed a larger stem in my right hip and wanted to schedule me to have that operated. I did not go back to him until a week ago. Mean while I had tried to see other dr.’s for an opinion. Not one other would touch me as they did not use the metal on metal. My visit to the dr. last week was very depressing. He told me the problems with the Depuy hips, and ordered a blood test and a bone scan. It looks like I am facing a few operations. I would like to go to another dr. but that seems unlikely. I am also wondering about getting a lawyer.
    Any thoughts of what actions should be taken. I hate pain and I hate not being able to walk by myself. Aug 5 2010

  14. Peter Reply

    My mother had a hip replacement done in the UK at the Nuffield Hospital in Taunton done by Mr. Clifford Marsh in August 2009.

    This year she experienced extraordinary pain and was informed that the DePuy metal on metal hip was the problem.

    My mother is over 80 years old so we would like to know the best cause of action. I am loathed to take legal action but if that is what it takes to compensate for the pain and anguish then that might be a route to consider.

    I remember my mother informing me that she had been informed that she was going to get the “rolls-royce” of artificial hips. It turned out that the information she was given by her surgeon was completely wrong.

  15. Candy Reply

    Hi Im 45 years old and had a THR in feb 2010 and it’s a metal on metal and cementless. I’ve had nothing but problems with thigh pain and don’t seem to be healing. I have to use a cane to get around. My doctor says I might be having problems with the metal. Waiting for appt to hear about my bone scan and ct scan. I might need a revision. Because of the metal. Would like to hear about anyone else with this problem.

  16. Jean Reply

    Had a total hip replacement, DePuy, metal on metal.in 2008. I went back to the surgeon who performed the surgery and he did Xrays, as I told him it felt like the joint was slipping and it made a crunching, popping sound when I walked. He said the replacement was in place. Of course the Xrays were done lying down and not upright, weight bearing. I get some pain in the leg, cramps etc. The surgeon said it was probably tendions rubbing on the bones, It makes it nearly impossible to continue my daily routine. I would like another medical opinion but don’t know who to trust or turn to. Are there any hip replacements that don’t have problems? I am just sick about this.

  17. judy Reply

    Had the Depuy THA metal on metal in May 2007 at 61. has always clicked in groin area; no pain the first year but thigh pain(anterior and lateral) has gotten worse and worse. X-rays negative the first and second year. Now have groin area bone pain. Also have had two episodes of LOUD squeeking about a year ago which lasted about a day. Attributed that to a micro separation of head and cup and loss of micro seal.I just stayed in bed a day, took wt off of it and it went away. It’s never been quite right and the pain is getting worse all the time.

  18. Michael G. Reply

    I contacted an attorney about the pain that I am experiencing, as well as about the recall. I was advised to talk to the surgeon who perfomed the replacement surgery back in 2006 (since he would bring me up to date on the recall and other problems associated with this implant). I called the surgeons office and his secretary informed me that “the doctor has asured us that he has never used this type of implant.” I had my “credit card,” that allows me to pass through airport security, right in front of me. On this card (that shows my exact implant) is the very implant that is being recalled!!!!
    Now my knee and ankle (on the same leg) are giving me trouble and pain, and I don’t even want to go into the pain from my lower back and hip. This device was not even tested by the FDA!!!

  19. Shirleyne Reply

    Hello again, I am 4 days post op. after having my metal on metal joint changed to plastic coated components, the excruciating pain I was suffering has eased considerably already and according to my new consultant will continue to improve as the metal ions lessen in my bloodstream etc. After operation he kindly rang my husband and stated that he wasn’t surprised that I had been in pain as what he saw was not very nice. Tissue, bone and fluid samples have been sent for analysis, so far nothing has grown on the culture samples for infection, I pray nothing does.
    My orthopaedic consultant was involved in my first two surgeries & also told me the metal on metal joints were top class, how wrong he was. I am going to be positive & hope to return to an active lifestyle but only time will tell the damage done. It is shocking that warnings were not taken seriousy so now lots more people are suffering needlessly.

  20. john Reply

    i had a total hip replacement in may 2010 the first couple of months after i felt ok the i started to get pain back in my groin and down to my knee, and now i have great difficulty in walking ,on the follow up appointment to my surgeon i had an xray and he said that he would operate again and see if anything was wrong as the xray showed no problems , about 6 weeks after the thp icame out with red spots all over my body some of which later turned black , i would like to know if any one else has had the same problem , i am thinking that it could be some sort of metal poisoning, any ideas ?

  21. mary Reply

    I had the De Pug Hip Implant 6-26 -2007.I can not put much weight on the hip that had the replacement in.My hip implant cameout of socket and cause me to fall i fracture my shoulder .That has not been taken care of.I went through all the testes that De Puy require. Have not heard from the blood work .When i fall whe my hip replace the ambulance had to take me to two places before they found one that could but it back into place.Was know today by my Ort. that the hip implant was not at fault for the fall. Itold him the implant cause me to fall when it came out of socket.

    ‘.

  22. Kathryn Reply

    I had such extreme pain following my right hip replacement in February of 2005 that even morphine didn’t work. For months following, I had extreme pain and told my surgeon it felt like “stem pain.” He said he had never heard of “stem pain” and thought it was my back. But the extreme pain was in my upper right thigh. Even extreme pain killers didn’t work, and so I finally concluded I just had to live with it. Though it is much less now, for two years I could do virtually any work and still have some pain. I only know that I had less pain before the surgery than afterwards.

  23. John Reply

    At least the DePuy problem seems to have an answer. Those of us with the same poisoning symptoms with Biomet hips get told that nothing is wrong with us even if we stay in constant pain and exhaustion year after year. I had a Biomet MoM RTHR fall of 2007 and have effectively lost the last three years of my life.

  24. Karen Reply

    I had a Left THR in 2001 a Dupuy implant was used, I had a Right THR in 2002a Dupuy implant was used. I experienced numerous dislocations, pain with weight bearing on the Left side in 2005 it was montiored for a year and then I was told the prosthesis was loose and a revision with cement was necessary. In 2007 the Right hip started with the same symptoms, that hip too needed a revision due to loosening and pain. Now I have another Dupuy on the Left and the Right has a biolox prosthesis. I continue to have pain in both hips and am constantly being told it is my back that is the problem.

  25. sheila Reply

    My husband had partial hip replacements in his early forties and they failed in 2007 he had a total hip replacement Zimmer on left side apparently not the durom on recall. He has had horrible pain but when doctor did x-rays of course they all looked fine. Then 2008 he had Ceramic Biolox Depuy put in on right side and less than a year it was dislocating he would manually himself snapped it back into place , we seen another surgeon and he replaced the right hip findings locking liner metal flange not engaged hip dislocating anteriorly , metallosis through out tissue and acetabular liner in multiple pieces was 80 degrees of anteversion, my husband is in terrible discomfort and pain still with new revision he has now also.

  26. Terri Reply

    I had a R total hip replacement in Feb 2006. I’m not quite sure what my Dr. put in me as I never received a card from him or the hospital. I had excrutiating pain from the moment I was moved off the gurney to my hospital bed. I have been in pain ever since! When I would go back to Dr for my post op checks I told him about the pain & not being able to bear weight on it, the thigh pain was still unbearable. He told my son who went with me, that I would need rehab if he gave me anymore pain meds.He kept insulting me like that, so I gave up with him. I’m on disability & can’t walk very far, ride a bike, sit for long, stand for long, ect. I stopped going. When the recall came out I called to find out what he put in me & it took a long time on hold. She came back with:” I think it was a Johnson & Johnson”. I tried to get more info, but..wild goose chase ever since & I’m fed up. I’ve been in constant pain & putting up with a grinding, popping noise. It’s painful, makes me jump. Then it subsides some. Still can’t put weight on it for long & R leg is almost 1/4″ longer. Have to put lifts in L shoe. My entire life has been almost stopped. I can’t do anything I used to. BUT NOW I KNOW I’M NOT CRAZY!

  27. Fred Reply

    Please respond if anyone Has had GOOD Luck!
    I had a total hip left replacement 6/2008 did not care or knew what I had put in! felt like I got new car I am 62 now surgeury was 1 hr was up walking the next day all pain was gone after 2 weeks just cane after 2 days started phys theropy I started working out 1 week out of hosp. (I do not watch news or read paper). I workout 3 4 days a week ride stationary 15 20 miles a week walk all over and swim with no real pain or probs I do feel my limits, and know what they are then !!! I kept seeing the commercials on this recall ! i kept hearing more and MORE I paniced, I called my surgeon, I did not know what hip I had, well Its an ASR !! (I never new what I got) He took Xrays after I told him I was concerned ! i said Dude I hammer this thing When he compared the Xray from Install 1 years 2 year and now showed @ 2.5 years no change in hip and bone all clean and grown in around cup, so far I am blessed I have not had any Problems YET I probably have put 5 years on this thing already
    Now I here the metal shavings can cause cancer ? Go get a blood test if you have this hip ? has anyone experiaced metal filings? or blood results I called Depuh told them I had one, they were cool and told me to monitor it and they know I HAVE ONE . I told them I would get a blood test to be safe at this point. if it aint broke dont fix it?
    hope it dont come back or bite

  28. JAMES Reply

    i had a right hip replaced 14th dec 2009,since have been very lethagic swolen legs and funny taste in my mouth my gp has done lots of tests and had no answer.on holiday in canada oct 2010 i saw some adds on tv refering to the metal on metal dupays hip so on my return i contacted my surgeon who seemed not to know anything about it !but he said he would do some research,he contacted me the following week to call me in for some tests,10 days later he was telling me the hip had to be out the following week due to very high ion levels(10 times the recomended level) this has been done now and i can say that within days i felt so much better all the symtoms i had for 2 years have nearly gone,i just wonder what this level of ion poisoning is going to do to me,no one i`ve asked seems to be able to tell me?

  29. cecil Reply

    i am 70 and i have had a hip replacement and 3 revisions the last was november 2007, last august i had problems with my thigh swelling up, lost my appetide and lost a lot of weight we went on a cruise for my 70th in febuary on the day three i had to go to medical centre 3 times a day to get antibiotics through a drip for first week and them to dress my leg as the doctor on board said i had absess in back of leg i was sent to tortolla hospital for a second oppion if we could stay on vessel or fly home early they agreed to keep dressing it daily and put extra dressing to get me home, the day i got i went to a&e to our own dostors and get exrays taken the doctor in charge showed me exray which i had very little bane in back of my leg and said watch how you walk and got me a appointment at pinderfields monday morning 10am to see the surgentwho did the revisions i got yy leg dressed daily at local a&e bu when i walked into the dressing gave way and there was horible fluid down my leg i my shoe and trouser leg was soaked i was given a doctors bottom and admitted and had 3 operations in 10days i have asked on numerous occasions if i had a metal to metal hip inserted all i could get he did not think s i was discharged from hosiptal and sent home witha vac pack and community nurses attended daily six months latter a wear a bag to catch fluid which measures about 2/3 ml daily, i still do not know if it is a metal to metal hip which is poison the system or not and i have no prospects of it clearing up so i feel sick as a parrot

  30. Dave Reply

    I had my hip replaced in 2007, later found out artificial hip used was the DuPuy Metal on Metal. I have contacted a lawyer, who advised me to see my surgeon, but surgeon is not too concerned and acts like I don’t need to do anything. Now I am having lower back pain near the incision of that hip replacement. I don’t really know what to do.

  31. Steve Reply

    I had a DuPuy Metal on Metal hip replacement fitted to my right side in February 2007 at the age of 48, i honestly never had one single problem, my hip was in great shape until January 11th 2014 this year when i was having a shower i heard a loud crack and the next thing i knew i was lying in the bottom of the cubicle.
    To my surprise my DuPuy Metal on Metal hip had snapped clean in half, has anyone else had this problem.
    Only when i chatted to my surgeon was i informed that DuPuy Hip replacements had been recalled in 2010.
    Fortunately im very much on the road to recovery, although it has been very much harder this time with being a revision.

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