There are 2 DePuy hip systems that have become the subject of hundreds of product liability legal claims: the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System and the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System. They are both “metal on metal” hip implant systems where designs were believed to be the cause of injuries sustained by the users, ranging from dislocated and broken hips, to the heart, nerves, kidney, and thyroid problems. The patients who suffer from these adverse reactions must undergo another surgery to remove and replace the implant, not to mention the pain and the lost wages which they sustained in the process.
The “Metal on Metal” Hip Replacements
The “metal on metal” hip implant system is characterized with a metal ball that fits into a metal socket or cup. As the individual walks or moves, the ball also moves within the cup, similarly to a natural hip joint moving in its cup.
Added to the potential risks brought by all hip implant procedures, metal on metal implant systems have similar risks. During the walking movement, the metal ball glides against the metal cup and when this occurs, the small metal particles weaken the ball cup or socket. The metal fragments are released into the gaps surrounding the hip implant and some of this debris may enter in the blood stream of the individual.
FDA claims that there is no way to prevent the flaking of these metal particles, no matter how orthopedic surgeons perform precautions to reduce the friction of the metal ball against its socket, thus reducing the shedding off the metal particles.
Injuries from the Metal on Metal Hip Implants
For those who are suffering from the adverse reactions sometimes called as adverse reaction to metal debris. In due time, the metal fragments which shed off the implanted ball and socket can cause harm to the tissues and bone around the implanted hip. When this happens, the implant become loosened, painful, and may need another surgery to get and replace the hip implant.
Some of the metal on metal hip implant recipients suffers the adverse effects on their nervous system, heart, and thyroid gland coming from higher level of metal ions entering into the blood stream.
The DePuy Recall
More than 90,000 patients received the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System or the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfing System. According to the manufacturer, these systems fail 13% and 12% respectively within 5 years of the implant procedure. The British Orthopedic Association estimated higher failures at 49% within the 6-year point.
DePuy withdrew the ASR XL Acetabular System and DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System in August 2000 because of the increasing number of patients who needed another surgery to replace the implants. DePuy established another system that offers to contain some of the medical costs for those who need hip replacement.
Why do you need a lawyer?
When the recall was made by the DePuy, the company will cover the personal expenses incurred by the insured patients, including as co-payment and co-insurance payments, as well as the lost wages during the additional surgery to replace the implants.
But what about the lost wages incurred after the surgery when the patient cannot walk because of the degenerative implant? What about if there are other injuries aside what were mentioned? Since DePuy recall system requires the patients to undergo additional surgeries?
Deuy Hip Implant Legal Cases
Those patients who are suffering from one of the DePuy’s hip implants have the legal rights to recover from their personal costs and expenses incurred due to an additional surgery they should not need. There were estimated 700 lawsuits were filed in May 2011 against the DePuy ASR XL in federal courts. In December 2010, all federal legal cases about the alleged injuries due to DePuy implants were moved to the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, as part of the multidistrict litigation before Judge David Katz. This will mean that all lawsuits over the ASR XL in federal courts will be part of the existing litigation in the federal court in Ohio.
The plaintiffs filed lawsuits in the states across the country to recover the harm sustained due to DePuy hip implants.