How Patients Can Identify a DePuy ASR Hip Implant Failure

Many patients who have undergone hip replacement surgeries will experience greater range of motion and restoration of the mobility they enjoyed years before. However, some will be placed in the difficult position of choosing to undergo a second surgery or keeping a device that is known to cause serious complications. After being warned of the high rate of injuries from the DePuy ASR hip implant, you may be worried about suffering from metal poisoning, bone fractures, and additional pain and suffering. But how can you tell if you received a recalled device—and what should you do if you have been implanted?

Who Might Be Implanted With a DePuy ASR Hip Device?

Doctor examining man with hip painOver 90,000 patients worldwide have been implanted with DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System total hip replacements and ASR Hip Resurfacing Systems. These devices were intended to be more durable and resistant to high-impact activities, supposedly making them ideal for younger and more active patients. As a result, these metal-on-metal devices could be implanted in patients across a wide range of ages.

Recalled DePuy devices can be used in three different types of hip replacement procedures:

  • Total hip replacement. In this surgery, both the femoral head and the acetabulum cup (known as the ball and socket of the hip joint) are replaced with artificial devices.
  • Partial hip replacement. A partial hip surgery replaces either the ball or socket of the hip joint with an artificial alternative.
  • Hip resurfacing. First performed in the 1970s, resurfacing involves replacing only the head of the femur, retaining most of the original bone. The newly-surfaced bone is then fitted into the socket using an artificial liner to maintain position.

The most direct way to discover which implant was used in your hip replacement surgery is to examine your medical records. The surgical report should identify which manufacturer made the hip, as well as the model type, lot number, and product code information of the device that was implanted. If you do not have a copy of this information, you can request the report from the hospital where the surgery was performed. You can also check your billing information or insurance statement to see which type of implant you were given.

It can take several weeks to obtain copies of your medical records, and some hospitals may be hesitant to release the information. If you are having trouble getting your medical information from a provider, you may want to speak to a medical device attorney. Legal representatives are often able to secure medical records more quickly, and can get answers to any follow-up questions you may have about your surgery.

How Does the DePuy Hip Recall Affect Patients?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a class 2 recall for both ASR hip systems in July 2010, with DePuy issuing its own recall in August 2010. Although the implants were designed to be less prone to dislocation, researchers discovered an above-average failure rate of in all models of the ASR hip devices, and some studies found that up to one in ten patients required a second hip replacement surgery. Researchers at the British Orthopaedic Association estimated the failure rate of the ASR hips between 21 and 49 percent just six years after implantation.

While not all of the recalled devices will fail, many will have to be removed at great suffering and expense to the patient. In November 2013, DePuy’s parent company Johnson & Johnson agreed to settle the costs of revision surgeries caused by its ASR devices, setting aside over $4 billion to cover these medical bills. 

If you received a recalled artificial hip, or are experiencing complications and are not sure which product was implanted, we can help you get fair payment for the costs of your injury. We can determine which hip device you received and whether you may be reimbursed for revision surgery and associated medical costs. The McGartland Law Firm helps patients nationwide recover from medical device injuries, and we do not collect any legal fees unless we win your case. Contact us today to speak to an attorney in your free case evaluation.