METAL-ON-METAL HIP IMPLANTS

DePuy, the orthopaedic division of Johnson & Johnson, has been a leader in manufacturing hip replacement systems and other orthopaedic devices for decades. By 2007, it had grown into a company that generated billions of dollars. But it all went sour when the many hip replacement devices they introduced caused thousands of injuries. DePuy faces more than 6,200 hip replacement lawsuits for injuries, negative side effects and complications from recalled Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip implants and more than 3,000 lawsuits for another metal-on-metal hip replacement called Pinnacle.

Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement devices

Patients who have metal-on-metal hip implants should be aware of potential symptoms which may occur after surgery and indicate that their device is not functioning properly. Some common symptoms of hip replacement metal poisoning may include:

• Hip or groin pain

• Difficulty walking or standing

• Inflammation or swelling

• Loosening or failure of the metal hip replacement

• Development of tumors

These complications lead recipients to require corrective actions that are both physical and financial. Many people with problematic artificial hips are forced to revision surgery, a corrective procedure that gives them a new hip implant. Most of those same patients – and others – opt for legal action by suing device manufacturers who knew or ought to have known that their hip systems were defective.

In recent years, metal on metal implants have been used in one-third of the 250,000 hip implant surgeries performed annually in the United States. By 2010, when DePuy issued a recall of its ASR hip system approximately 3,400 South African patients had undergone surgery to implant this system.

Rewind the story

Let us rewind the story a little bit. We want you to fully understand what Mokoduo Attorneys is fighting for and what we believe in. It is a serious matter jeopardizing the health of millions of people all over the world and it should not be overlooked.

We want to give you valuable insight, as we want to gain as much support as possible in this litigation. The idea behind the claim is to hold the manufacturer responsible for a product that not only does not have the desired results but most importantly greatly endangers the wellbeing of the patients.

→In 2005: DePuy used a far from legitimate pathway to win Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to sell a version of the ASR (ASR XL Acetabular metal-on-metal hip replacement) based on the same metal hip cup for use in traditional joint replacement surgery. Because that version was similar to hip implants already on the market, they were authorized to clear it for sale without clinical testing.

→August 2009: The Unites States FDA warned DePuy about the safety of an artificial hip device sold abroad and soon after that, DePuy executives phased out ASR sales while shifting surgeons to other company implants. The fact is that DePuy’s research and clinical data were inadequate, so it couldn’t sell the product in the United States. DePuy did continue to market the product outside America.

Complications and lawsuits… from bad to worse

→March 2010: DePuy issued its first warning to doctors and patients about the high early failure rate. However, at this point, they still had not issued a recall of the product. In fact, they were still denying that there was a recall and claimed any statements referencing a recall were false.

At the same time, Johnson & Johnson acknowledged that ASR products had a higher-than-normal failure rate after data revealed that approximately 12% of patients who received an ASR device needed “revision surgery.”

The ASR’s failures are translated by serious symptoms such as:

• Severe pain

• Inflammation

• Metallosis due to high levels of cobalt ions in the blood

• Death to surrounding tissue and bone

• Partial or complete lack of mobility

• Need for revision surgery to remove and replace the device giving rise to even more debilitation

• Prolonged recovery time

• Increased risk of complications and death from further surgery

Surgeons who have replaced the implant say they have found “mysterious masses of dead tissue near patients’ thighs”. A South African metallurgical engineer said the prosthesis failed because of the absence of lubricant as well as use of wrong materials.

Conclusion

During some eight years on the market, the two implants were used in more than 90,000 patients worldwide, about one-third of them in the United States but a lot of people in South Africa also received those implants. Both models were based on the same components, an all-metal hip socket cup that experts say was faulty in design.

The issue is that even though DePuy is prepared to replace the prostheses free of charge, it still hasn’t acknowledged that they are faulty.

If you have received one of these implants, we want you to know that the specialist hip replacement lawyers at Mokoduo Attorneys believe that getting satisfaction from the company that harmed you shouldn’t be just more hardship.

We want to do everything in our power to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible. If you have received one of these devices and are concerned that it has or will fail, or you are aware of a family member or acquaintance who has received such a device contact investigators at Mokoduo Attorneys today.