Norfolk, Virginia Defective Products Attorney Reports: Are DePuy Hip Implant Failures the Tip of the Iceberg?
The ongoing lawsuits resulting from the failure of hip replacement implants made by the DePuy Orthopaedics unit of Johnson & Johnson, illustrates how when things go wrong in the medical field, they can go badly wrong.
In 2010 the company announced recalls of two kinds of devices more than two years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration started to receive complaints, the New York Times reported.
These products were meant to last at least 15 years. In reality they have been failing in just a few years, leaving patients in pain and discomfort.
The two products recalled in 2010 by Johnson & Johnson are the ASR XL Acetabular System, described by the New York Times as a “hip socket used in traditional hip replacement, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, a partial hip replacement that involves placing a metal cap on the ball of the femur, a method intended to preserve more bone.”
These devices have been used for years in the United States and beyond. According to DePuy about
93,000 of these devices have been implanted worldwide. Since 2008 FDA. has received about 400 complaints involving patients in the U.S. alone who received the devices.
The recalled hip implants saga has implications beyond those who have suffered from the inadequacies of the device. It has caused many to look again at the way new implants are sold.
While new drugs are tested, there is not the same requirement with surgical devices. But, as with a defective drug, there’s certainly potential for patients to suffer further harm, leading to a flood in lawsuits.
As an experienced Norfolk-based defective products attorney, I am very concerned that Johnson & Johnson ignored warning signs for more than two years before making a recall.
The health implications for the apparent flaw in the design of these devices is that it causes excessive friction between the metal parts, releasing chromium and cobalt ions into the patients’ blood stream.
The result is higher infection rates, as well as the growth of “pseudo tumors” not to mention the rejection of the hip implant itself.
We do not believe these are the only defective products on the market. We recently reported on a study that suggested poor quality and a failure to improve in both hip and knee replacement devices.
And other metal-on-metal hip implants have come under scrutiny by the FDA and claims have arisen involving another DePuy hip, the DePuy Pinnacle system. In May 2011, the regulator ordered 21 manufacturers of metal hips to take part in surveillance studies and gather blood test results of patients’ cobalt and chromium levels.
This raises the alarming prospect that worse could still be to come in the inadequately regulated world of medical implants.
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