Problems with DePuy Metal-on-Metal Hips Continue to Rise: Doctors

Revision surgery rates for the recalled DePuy ASR hip replacement system are continuing to rise, according to a new report from an Illinois doctor.  

A study presented at annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons this week indicates that one facility is still seeing an increasing percentage of patients who required revision surgery after experiencing problems with the DePuy metal-on-metal hip, which was pulled from the market three years ago amid concerns about an increased risk of premature failure.

The report was presented by Dr. Chris J. Dangles of Carle Foundation Hospital, in Champaign, Illinois. At his facility, nearly a quarter of all DePuy ASR hip implants have been replaced, and about half of all women who received one of the recalled hips have had revision surgery. The 24% revision surgery rate came after only four years of use.

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DePuy ASR Hip Lawsuits

Lawsuits are being reviewed for several different dangerous and defective hip replacement systems.


High Failure Rates Led to Recall, Lawsuits

A DePuy ASR recall was announced in August 2010 after the manufacturer, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, warned that the metal-on-metal hip replacement system appeared to suffer a 12% to 13% failure rate after five years. However, many independent experts have predicted that the DePuy ASR hip failure rate will actually be much higher, with some estimating that a third of all DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hips could fail after just six years.

Carle Foundation Hospital quit using the implants 18 months before the recall, due to the high rate of complications seen by health care professionals there, Dangles reported.

Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of product liability lawsuits over the DePuy ASR hip, which have been brought by patients who experienced problems from metal blood poisoning caused as the metal parts rub against each other, which often results in the need for revision surgery.

Most of the DePuy ASR litigation is currently pending in the federal court system, where complaints filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the country have been consolidated as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, before U.S. District Judge David Katz in the Northern District of Ohio.

Trials Over DePuy Metal-on-Metal Hip Problems

As of March 5, at least 7,235 lawsuits over the DePuy ASR hip were consolidated in the federal MDL, according to the latest update (PDF) by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

There are also a number of DePuy lawsuits pending in state courts throughout the country. Earlier this year, the first case in the country was presented to a California state court jury, which awarded $8.3 million in damages against Johnson & Johnson as a result of the DePuy ASR hip. Another trial is currently underway in Illinois state court, involving a lawsuit filed by a 54 year old nurse who alleges that she had to undergo revision surgery and has been left with substantial permanent injuries.

In the federal court system, a small group of cases in the DePuy ASR MDL are being prepared for early trial dates, known as “bellwether” cases. The first federal DePuy ASR hip lawsuit is expected to go before a jury on May 6, involving a complaint filed by Faye Borney-Madgitz, with a second trial scheduled to begin on July 8, involving a complaint filed by Ann McCracken.

In addition to lawsuits over the DePuy ASR implant, individuals have filed lawsuits over other metal-on-metal implants, including the Biomet M2A Magnum, the Wright Medical Conserve Cup, and the DePuy Pinnacle hip.


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