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DePuy ASR Defective Design

What DePuy ASR Implant Design Problems Caused the Hip Replacement Recall?

The ASR XL Acetabular artificial hip, manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics (a branch of Johnson & Johnson), was recalled on August 26, 2010. The device exhibits a number of design flaws that cause 12-13 percent of the hips to fail within the first five years, affecting 1 in 8 patients, a rate 2 to 3 times higher than the industry standard. (Expected early failure rates are 5 percent or less.) A new study released by physicians in the UK predicts that the DePuy ASR hip implant failure rate may be as high as 50%.

The ASR is classified as an alternate bearing surface joint and is a metal-on-metal hip implant rather than a ceramic device or a combination of metal and plastic. The most benign flaw exhibited with the hip is an annoying squeak. Unfortunately, much bigger defects come into play with the ASR implant.

At the juncture of the metal ball and the socket into which it rotates, corrosion causes metal debris to break off and shed into the body. Due to the presence of large blood vessels in the femoral cup area (particularly the acetabular notch), these metals, mainly cobalt and chromium ions, enter the patient’s circulatory system. The full affect of the presence of these metals in the body has not yet been determined, but in some cases they have been found to contribute to bone necrosis or “death.” This development can preclude the insertion of a replacement hip because the remaining bone is too weakened to serve as an anchor for the device.

As a hip recall attorney I urge patients with a DePuy hip replacement to consult their physician immediately and schedule an appointment to undergo comprehensive testing for metallic poisoning. If you or a loved one received an ASR hip replacement, a hip recall lawyer can provide legal assistance to ensure your rights are protected.

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