In August of this year Depuy Orthopedics, which is wholly owned by Johnson & Johnson, issued a recall for the Depuy ASR Hip Replacement device which was a metal on metal implant. The design claim was that it would last "forever" due to the fact there would be natural lubrication of your synovial fluids between the metal cup and the metal ball of the hip replacement device and unlike ceramic or poly liners that those would last many years. Therefore, it was marketed to, and favored by, younger people. Many older individuals also elected this device upon the recommendation of their orthopedic surgeon.
For several years Depuy had been aware of a much higher rate of failure than other hip replacement devices which often resulted in metallic wear. This metal rubbing on metal caused metal ions to enter into the system and the tissue and bone around the hip causing erosion and necrosis in some instances. The test for this is through blood or urine samples which will show metallosis (metal in the blood or urine).
Besides metallosis this device has been known to fail by breaking at the neck just below the ball. It is unusually thin. This device has also been criticized on it’s design for having an extremely small margin of error for the way and the angle it must be installed by the orthopedist. Many times the 45 degree angle demanded has been adjusted by orthopedists because it doesn’t look or feel right. Also, it is very difficult to meet the specificity given by Depuy and the indications are that most installations missed the mark as far as the requirements of Depuy for installations were concerned.
Although warned of this as early as 2004, these warnings seemed to have been ignored by Depuy because of the popularity and the sales rate. In other words, they favored profits over safety.
Many people have now had to have these hips replaced with those containing poly or ceramic liners. Studies have shown that a traditional hip replacements last anywhere from 8 – 10 years on the first installation but each installation thereafter lasts for a shorter period of time and has more difficulty in the installation with greater likelihood of complications at the time of the operation and there after. People who have had, or will have to have, their Depuy ASR Hip replacement device replaced will therefore face an additional replacement which may become difficult to impossible by the 3rd installation if there has been loss of bone or tissue due to the faulty device. Therefore, even those who seem to have had a successful replacement of the Depuy Hip will face damages in the future from successive replacements over their lifetime.
Additionally, no one knows the exact degree of damages which may be caused by metallosis in the system. Cobalt and chromium ions are what is found with those with faulty Depuy Hip installations. Cobalt in high numbers is thought by many to cause dementia and possibly cancer. This is a continuing area of research about which not nearly enough is known.
People who have had a Depuy ASR Metal on Metal Hip installation should have blood or urine testing to determine if there is metal in their system. An additional symptom is pain or displacement within a 2 year period after installation. Even people who have not associated their symptomology (many complained of flu like symptoms) but had the faulty hip removed were found to have large puss like formations around it and withdrawal or necrosis of the hip bone into which the acetabulum (cavity in the pelvis) has the metal socket installed. Therefore, continuous repeat testing is recommended even for those people who are symptom free at the present time.ASR Hip Resurfacings
A less often used (in this country) but still not uncommon procedure is for some patients to have hip resurfacing rather than a full hip replacement. Instead of replacing the femoral head, the doctor can attach a metal cover to give it a new surface. The ASR system when used for hip resurfacing likewise is causing problems and complaints which are being investigated at this time.
I’ve worked with multi-district litigation before. In the many cases involving hemophiliacs who were given factor VII or VIII plasma by Bayer and other large pharmaceutical manufacturers, there were numerous cases handled throughout the states of Illinois, Indiana, and as far away as Arizona by me. In doing so I wisely chose to associate with a member of the steering committee multi-district litigation. I chose to share my fees with the steering committee under the direction of the federal courts, so that all of the shared discovery across the country could be used in my cases. Such an association is important to the best outcome for the claimant in these cases, and I intend to do the same thing once the multi-district litigation is formulated and a steering committee is established. This has not yet been completed at this writing. Various litigations have been filed across the country. However, in almost all instances, the case will have to be tried individually in the area where the hip was implanted. This means local counsel is important for the pursuit of an individual claimant’s rights and damages. Every case is different as far as the final outcome is concerned. There is no extra or different fee to the claimant
At present, Doyle Law Team represents a variety of people at various stages regarding this tragic design fault. Some have had the hip replaced and that hip replacement has been unsuccessful in that they have dislocations on a repetitive basis because of the lack of solid bone in which the hip was installed. Some people have not had their hip replaced yet. We are in the best position to be the most helpful to the latter but we will take all cases. Some people we represent have had their hip replaced several years ago and seem to be asymptomatic at this time but are young enough to face the kinds of damages (spoken of above) down the road as they will face multiple replacements over the years.
It should be further noted that I do not intend to accumulate more of these cases than I can give personal attention to in the pursuit of each individual’s rights in each case. Many national law firms will seek to collect hundreds of such cases across the country and will likely be unable to give you any serious personal attention. At Doyle Law Team we will meet with you face to face as often as necessary and personally review all of your medical records together with our nurse experts report and the obtaining of expert deposition testimony regarding the nature and extent of the design defect and damages in your case.
If contacted by Depuy we recommend you do not return a signed authorization. Do not allow your explanted Depuy hip to be retained by the physician or sent to Depuy. You should demand to receive this device as you paid for it when it was installed in the first instance. Locally we are working with Carle Hospital successfully and they are keeping these hips in their possession and will turn them over to the attorneys as requested but other institutions may not be as cooperative.
Remember, there is never a charge for initial consultation at Doyle Law Team. Any and all fees will be contingent on a recovery and will be the same fee as would be charged by any national firm while providing you with both individual local representation as well as representation through association with a member or members of the steering committee. Again there is no extra charge for this as a portion of our fee will be given to those with whom we work.
We will be happy to answer any other questions as well as give advice about how you might proceed in your particular situation upon your calling and giving us some initial information and setting an appointment to meet with us at our Danville office. We are also available in our satellite offices in Champaign and Hoopeston.