DePuy Hip Replacements On The Rise

With the passage of time, estimates of metal-on-metal device failure for the DePuy ASR have skyrocketed. Current estimates project a premature failure rate exceeding 45 percent. Many of our DePuy hip defect clients are now learning after an absence of symptoms bad enough to require replacement that they have dangerously elevated levels of chromium and cobalt in their blood, and they now need "revision" surgery ("revision" in this context means another hip replacement).

The increasing number of revisions is consistent with reports in some medical journals that re-replacements (aka "revisions") for DePuy victims are on the rise.

The British Orthopedic Society, for instance, has found that ASR hip implant re-replacement rates may reach as high as 49 percent of patients implanted with the device after six years of use. Unfortunately, it seems there is no time at which a DePuy implant patient can feel he or she has made it "home safe."

No hard numbers have been published for the Rejuvenate, but it appears its revision rate will also be high, possibly exceeding 50 percent.

DePuy Hip Implants Continue To Pose Failure Risks

An ASR patient who has no problems in the first through fourth years after initial surgery may nevertheless experience a failure in the fifth year. What's worse is that when an ASR device fails, it often damages or kills soft tissue (muscle, ligament, cartilage, tendon) within the hip. This makes it much harder for the patient to return to good function following the re- replacement surgery.

The device is composed of cobalt and chromium as well as other metal compounds. At the microscopic level, with normal use, ions of cobalt and chromium break away from the hip implant. Over time, the body tries to clear this debris.

The ions enter the bloodstream and, over time, may cause problems elsewhere in the body, including neurological and cardiac symptoms. The result is that many doctors have opted to remove the DePuy ASR implant as soon as possible to avoid the risks of continued exposure to cobalt and chromium.

At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, a majority of our ASR clients have required revision surgery. This statistic is in keeping with the published literature and underlines the importance of getting prompt follow-up care with your doctor if you have an ASR hip implant.

Everyone with ASR hip implants should make certain they are being followed by competent medical specialists to fairly and accurately assess the continued benefit versus risk of leaving their hip implant in place. At the same time, patients should talk to a personal injury attorney skilled in the area of medical device litigation to be informed about their rights, the applicable statute of limitations and the best course of action to protect themselves legally going forward.

Walkup Melodia attorneys currently represent more than 200 DePuy victims and are available for no-fee, no-obligation consultation on the phone or in person to discuss your legal rights. Call us at 415-906-3764 or contact the Walkup firm online.