Hip implant complaints are surging as more information is revealed about the dangers of metal on metal hip joint devices. Recent studies show that the FDA received more than 5,000 reports since January 2011, according to the New York Times. The 5,000 reports alleging defective metal-on-metal medical devices for hips were more than the FDA has received about these types of medical devices in the previous four years combined.
While the seemingly staggering number of complaints may seem drastically high, in reality, the numbers do not come as a shock given the most recent recall of a DePuy ASR Hip Replacement System manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics.
DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, falsely advertised and misled their patients that this recalled ASR Hip Replacement System would improve the patient’s mobility and pain of their hip. Research shows to the contrary — the danger of metal-on-metal devices has proven to be harmful, and in some cases, more harmful than the original damaged hip.
Many of the reports given to the FDA deal with patients who have had a metal-on-metal hip removed or will soon have to endure a procedure because the metal-on-metal hip implant device failed. This high number of complaints has only confirmed what many experts have feared: metal-on-metal replacement hip implants are close to becoming the biggest and most expensive medical device problem since Medtronic recalled a heart device in 2007. With the Medtronic recall several years ago, there were about 7,700 complaints filed with the FDA.
Patients who have had the recalled hip implant have suffered intense hip, groin or leg pains. Some patients have become immobile as a result of the recalled hip implant. Other problems patients with the recalled hip implant have experienced include fractures, friction transfer to the acetabulum, implant dislocations, and loose-fitting implants.
It’s been estimated that about 500,000 patients have received an all-metal replacement hip. Replacing hips has become a common procedure in the U.S. A study completed by the NY Times found that the ASR Hip Replacement System recalled last year by DePuy Orthopaedics accounted for about 75 % of the complaints received by FDA. Some of these complaints regarding the metal-on-metal medical devices came from outside the country. Many of the devices were sold before testing or producers tracking their performance were undertaken. This lack of procedure was allowed under FDA rules. However, in May, the FDA ordered that producers study how frequently these medical hip implant devices are failing and examine the actual threat to patients.
For many patients, the warning comes too late. A physical therapist from Delaware, Ann Morrison, received a metal-on-metal hip replacement for both of her hips in 2008. Soon after having this hip replacement, she experienced pain, inflammation, and rashes. In 2010, Morrison had to replace the hip implant. Because of the pain and suffering she went through with this metal-on-metal hip implant, she now needs a brace to walk and is yet to return to work. Morrison has filed suit against DePuy as DePuy manufactured her implants. Morrison is just one of many individuals who have filed suit.
With the surge of metal-on-metal complaints, many surgeons have stopped using the metal-on-metal devices as they do not want to expose their patients to any dangers when there are safer alternatives available.
If you or someone you love has suffered as a result of the DePuy ASR hip implant, you may wish to contact our law firm for a free case evaluation and consultation. Our hip implant recall lawyers continue to review claims throughout the country in an effort to help those affected by this product.