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DePuy Hip Joint Lawsuit Help

The Law Firm of Eric H. Weinberg is assisting individuals who have experienced a second hip replacement surgery, hip pain, metallosis (chromium or cobalt toxicity), or other complication that may be related to a DePuy ASR™ hip joint. We are ready to help you. If you or a loved one has suffered an additional hip surgery or other complication that may be related to the DePuy hip joint recall, please call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274.

The DePuy ASR™ Hip Joint Recall

On August 24, 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics (a Johnson & Johnson company) recalled its ASR™ XL Acetabular Hip System and ASR™ Hip Resurfacing System. The company recalled the products because of the number of patients requiring a second hip replacement surgery (referred to as a revision surgery) due to early failure of their implanted DePuy ASR™ replacement hip. Some patients also experienced an inflammatory or hypersensitivity reaction to the microscopic chromium and cobalt particles, which are generated as the metal-on-metal hip joint begins to wear away. Your doctor may also use the terms metallosis, metal hypersensitivity, chromium toxicity, or cobalt toxicity to describe this condition.

Symptoms and Complications Indicating DePuy Hip Joint Failure or Metallosis

Symptoms and complications indicating hip joint failure, or chromium and cobalt toxicity may include:

  • pain and/or swelling in hip, groin, back, or leg; problems standing or walking; instability; bone fracture; component loosening; dislocation; crunching or popping noises coming from the joint; infection; and metallosis (high levels of the metals cobalt or chromium detected in the blood)
  • a revision surgery was performed to replace an implanted DePuy ASR™ hip joint
  • a revision surgery is planned to replace an implanted DePuy ASR™ hip joint

Even if you are not currently experiencing symptoms of hip joint failure or a reaction to the metal debris created by a metal-on-metal hip joint it is important to contact your orthopedic surgeon. He or she will want to monitor you for the potential health problems related to the recalled DePuy ASR™ hip joints.

How to Determine if You Have Received a Recalled DePuy ASR™ Hip Joint

The recalled DePuy ASR™ hip joint became available in the U.S. in July of 2003. If you received an artificial hip joint between July of 2003 and August of 2010, then you may have received a DePuy recalled hip joint. You will need to determine the manufacturer, brand, and model of your artificial hip. Following, are ways to help you collect this information:

  • Contact Your Surgeon – It is likely that your orthopedic surgeon will have the manufacturer, brand, and model of your hip joint implant recorded in your medical records.
  • Medical Device Card – It is likely that your orthopedic surgeon will have the manufacturer, brand, and model of your hip joint implant recorded in your medical records.
  • Notice of Recall – You may have received a letter from DePuy Orthopeadics or your orthopedic surgeon stating that you have received a recalled DePuy ASR™ hip joint. If this is the case, you should contact your surgeon immediately. While the manufacturer may encourage you to contact them directly, it may not be advisable to do so, especially if you believe that you have a legal claim or that you may wish to file a lawsuit against DePuy in the future.
  • Check Your Hospital Records – The manufacturer, brand, and model of your implanted hip joint can likely be found in your operative note. The operative note is a medical record written right after surgery. It will be part of your hospital records.

If you learn that you did receive a recalled DePuy ASR™ hip joint, contact your surgeon immediately, so you can be monitored for signs of early hip joint failure and/or chromium and cobalt toxicity. If you are in need of legal assistance, please contact Attorney Eric H. Weinberg at 877-934-6274 or submit our on-line inquiry form for questions regarding the recall or a potential DePuy hip lawsuit.

Testing and Monitoring will be Required

Testing and monitoring will be required to determine if your implanted DePuy ASR™ hip joint is functioning properly, and to determine if you are reacting to the metal debris generated by the wearing away of the metal-on-metal joint.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has issued a Medical Device Alert with recommendations for following and evaluating metal-on-metal hip replacement recipients for both hip joint function, and cobalt and chromium toxicity. Following is a summary of the MHRA recommendations and the DePuy Recall Notice:

  • All patients who have received an ASR™ acetabular cup should be seen by their doctor and followed at least annually for five years following surgery to determine if the hip joint is functioning properly. X-rays may be ordered to assess hip joint and bone.
  • Patients can be evaluated for metallosis by measuring cobalt and chromium ion blood levels. If either ion level is elevated above 7 parts per billion (ppb), the patient should be retested in three months. In addition, MRI and ultrasound can determine the presence of fluids, tissue masses, and soft tissue damage around the hip joint.

Revision Surgery

A revision surgery is performed on a patient to replace an implanted replacement hip joint. Your surgeon may schedule you for this type of surgery if you experience an early replacement hip joint failure, or if you are diagnosed with a metal hypersensitivity reaction. If a revision surgery is necessary, then you should ask for the removed hip implant, referred to as an explant, or ask your doctor to safely store the explanted hip joint for you. You may also wish to speak with your own attorney before speaking with a representative of DePuy or Johnson and Johnson, or their agent Broadspire.

More about the DePuy Hip Joint Recall

The DePuy ASR™ XL Acetabular Hip System was the only one of the two recalled DePuy hip joints sold in the U.S. However, if your hip replacement surgery was performed outside of the U.S., you may have received the DePuy Hip ASR™ Resurfacing System. The Depuy ASR™ products are referred to as “metal-on-metal implants” because both the ball (for the resurfacing system, the metal cap which covers the femoral head) and socket (or cup) of the replacement hip joint are made from metals. The metal used in the DePuy hip joint was a cobalt chromium alloy.

Early Hip Joint Failure – Data from the UK National Joint Registry showed a five-year revision rate of approximately 12% for the ASR™ Hip Resurfacing System and approximately 13% for the ASR™ XL Acetabular System. This means that about 1 in 8 patients will require a second hip replacement within 5 years of their original hip replacement surgery. Artificial hips are intended to last for 15 years or more.

Chromium Toxicity and Cobalt Toxicity – DePuy also acknowledged that metal debris, created by the metal-on-metal wear of the hip joint, could lead to muscle, bone, and nerve damage. This condition, known as metallosis, is an inflammatory response capable of causing tissue damage and necrosis. The response is triggered by the cobalt and chromium ions which can be found in the tissue and blood of patients with metal-on-metal joint implants.

Obtain a Free DePuy Hip Lawsuit Case Evaluation

Attorney Eric H. Weinberg has represented thousands of individuals injured by the side effects of well known prescription drugs including Vioxx, Pradaxa, Ortho Evra, Baycol, and blood clotting products. If you have suffered an early revision surgery, and/or cobalt or chromium toxicity (metallosis) that may be linked to a DePuy ASR™ hip joint and would like a free DePuy hip lawsuit evaluation, please call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274.

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Contact Weinberg Law Firm. You may also call us 24/7 at our toll free number, 1(877) 934-6274.