Hip Implant by Johnson & Johnson Recalled

Hip Implant by Johnson & Johnson Recalled


Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy A.S.R. hip implants have been “failing worldwide at unusually high rates after just a few years.” Despite being promoted as a breakthrough in hip replacements, the faulty DePuy A.S.R. (which stands for Articular Surface Replacement) is now being called “one of the most troubled orthopedic implants of the past decade.”

Unfortunately, it is too late for some who have the implants already.  In August 2010, DePuy issued a voluntary recall of our ASR™ Hip System after receiving new, then-unpublished data from a joint replacement registry in the UK.  This data indicated that while the vast majority of patients with the ASR Hip System were not experiencing any problems, a higher number of ASR patients than previously reported to DePuy needed a second surgery, called a revision surgery, earlier than expected.

The ASR Hip System

In a natural hip, the thigh bone, known as the femur, is connected to the pelvis at the hip joint. The femur has a rounded end, called the femoral head. The femoral head fits like a ball into a concave surface on the pelvis, known as the acetabulum. For this reason, the hip joint is often called a ball and socket joint. The femoral head rotates within the acetabulum, which allows for motion. When osteoarthritis, injury or other conditions cause the hip joint to lose mobility and become painful, a hip replacement or hip resurfacing surgery may be performed.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe, the Director of the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, believes that the problematic DePuy A.S.R. was never properly approved by the Food and Drug Administration before being used in patients.  He has stated that DePuy was “basically testing these devices in an uncontrolled way on a large number of people.”

The New York Times reported that “DePuy officials cannot say how many patients in this country received an A.S.R. because the company . . . does not track such implants.”  The Times found that DePuy “sold two versions of the A.S.R. hip, one that the F.D.A. never cleared for sale in the United States and one that it did.”

DePuy defended its recall of the faulty A.S.R. hip implant, stating that it believed it was making “the appropriate decision to recall at the appropriate time given the available information.”  DePuy’s explanation is questionable, however, given the fact that reports of the A.S.R. hip implant’s exaggerated rate of failure have been surfacing since 2008.

However, it is difficult to know for sure how many patients received the faulty A.S.R. hip implant because DePuy does not track them.  Although patients complain, without a tracking system, doctors cannot prove how much harm these defective hip implants are doing.  The Times reported that “doctors who tried to sound an alert said they had been rebuffed by DePuy.”

Despite the lack of a tracking system in the United States, DePuy’s faulty A.S.R. hip implant has been tracked in Australia.  Dr. Stephen Graves, the director of Australia’s orthopedic registry, has stated:

“J. & J. has a major issue with DePuy.  When it is clear to the orthopedic community that a company has not been honest, that is a problem.”

The Australian registry reveals that the defective A.S.R. hip implant has been failing at a high rate since 2008.

Patients who have received the faulty A.S.R. hip implant are likely to experience serious pain due to the implant loosening.  These patients will remain on pain medication, sometimes for years, and will eventually need a revision surgery to replace the defective hip implant. As time goes on, the faulty device can shed tiny metallic particles, and some patients may become permanently disabled due to bone, muscle or nerve damage.

Hip Implant Attorneys

If you received an ASR hip implant and are experiencing problems, you have legal rights to compensation for physical damages, additional surgeries and your pain and suffering. Call or contact an attorney today using the information on this page, we can help.

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