In the five year period between August 2005 and 2010, more than 90,000 patients globally had hip surgeries using the ASR XL Acetubular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System. In late August, 2010, the voluntary recall of those systems was announced by the producer, DePuy Orthopedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson.
The recall came more than two years after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first began to receive complaints related to the products, demonstrating the agency’s significant delay from first receiving information about serious problems with potentially defective medical devices to taking action against responsible parties.
Some industry observers feel the FDA should have been more rigorous in its testing and monitoring of the DePuy hip implants. Critics state that higher than normal failure rates with these hip implants were observed early on by medical facilities across the country and abroad.
The main problem with the defective hip implants is that debris may wear off of the metal-on-metal bearings causing damage and inflammation to adjacent tissue. Symptoms of the attendant damage are hip and leg pain, difficulty walking and swelling around the affected joint.
Problems with the DePuy hip replacements resulted in 12-13 percent of patients needing secondary surgeries to replace the defective devices within five years. These revision surgeries can be painful and costly.
Any individual who has undergone hip surgery with one of the recalled devices should first contact their physician to have their hip evaluated. Affected individuals should also contact an attorney with specific expertise in DePuy hip implant cases. A knowledgeable lawyer can evaluate potential claims and help impacted patients receive compensation for their injuries and suffering.