New York, New Jersey, and Nationwide
Hip replacements are designed to help people with disability and pain in their hips. They are also supposed to be long-term implants, and should last 15 years or more, but many hip replacements are defective and fail long before this. When they fail, they may actually increase your pain and disability, and require numerous subsequent operations. The ASR is a hip replacement with a high early failure rate that may actually cause serious harm to people who received it. As a result of its high failure rate and other adverse side effects, the ASR Hip Replacement was pulled from the market on August 26, 2010 by its manufacturer, DePuy Orthopaedics, a Johnson & Johnson company.
If you or a loved one has suffered ongoing pain and disability or had numerous revision surgeries because of an early failure of an ASR hip replacement, you may be eligible for compensation from DePuy and Johnson & Johnson. Morelli Ratner PC has extensive experience fighting for victims of defective medical devices in New York, New Jersey, and nationwide. We can fight for you. Please contact us today for a free DePuy Hip Replacement case evaluation.
About DePuy's ASR Hip Replacement
There are different versions of the ASR, each replacing different parts of the hip joint. The two points of the hip are the socket in the pelvis, known as the acetabulum, and the ball of the femur--the long bone in the leg that runs from the hip to the knee. The three models of the ASR are:
- The ASR Hip, a metal cup that replaces the acetabulum
- The ASR Hip Resurfacing system, two metal cups, one that sits inside the acetabulum and another that covers the ball of the femur
- The ASR XL Acetabular System, which has three parts, a cup that fits inside the acetabulum, a metal ball that replaces the ball of the femur, and a stem that attaches to the ball and sits inside the femur
The ASR Hip and the XL model are the only two that have been approved for use in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so these are the models covered by the current defective product recall.
Why the Recall?
For several years, people have expressed concerns about the ASR Hip replacement systems, but DePuy has resisted making a recall as long as the system remained profitable. In 2008 and 2009, there were 300 complaints about the ASR that were reported to the FDA, and over 90% of these complaints required that the implant be replaced with another system. It took an international effort to convince DePuy to finally recall the implant. In 2009, Australian officials who were distressed by the high rate of failures and injuries associated with the ASR approached DePuy and forced it to withdraw the implant from the market in December 2009. However, the ASR remained available in other countries. Then information from the National Joint Registry (NJR) of England and Wales was published, also showing a high failure rate (12-13% of the implants failed within five years), and DePuy decided to initiate a worldwide recall. This recall also came after the company had already decided to phase out the implant due to declining sales.
More than a Hip Problem
Unfortunately, the ASR Hip replacement system can do more than just fail. Because the implant is designed as a metal-on-metal joint, the ASR Hip can lead to large-scale, even systemic complications. In metal-on-metal joints, the components can grind together, wearing each other away and releasing numerous tiny metal shards. These shards can irritate and damage nearby tissues. When this occurs, local tissues suffer and die, leading to a loss of bone and soft tissue around the implant, so that when the ASR is removed it must be replaced with an even more extensive implant. About half of the surgeries to perform this type of more extensive replacement fail, requiring a third or even fourth hip surgery.
The tiny metal shards can also enter the bloodstream and be carried to distant parts of the body. Many of the metals are known to be toxic, and include chromium and cobalt. No one has yet established what constitutes a safe level of these metal fragments, and toxic exposure to these metals has been linked to fatal kidney and bowel inflammation as well as heart, nerve, and thyroid problems.
We Can Help
At Morelli Ratner PC, our lawyers are dedicated to helping victims like you who have been hurt by the negligence and callous indifference of large corporations. DePuy had early evidence to suggest the level of failures that the ASR would experience, but they did not withdraw the implant as long as it remained profitable, allowing you and thousands of others to be put at risk of pain, disability, and unknown toxicity levels of heavy metals.
Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our clients in New York, New Jersey, and nationwide. We are now investigating serious injury cases related to DePuy's ASR Hip replacement. Let us investigate yours. Please contact us today for a free case evaluation.