Illinois product liability lawyers need to be aware of the August 2010 recall by DePuy Orthopedics of its defective metal-on-metal hip implant systems. The two hip implant systems recalled are the: (1) ASR XL Acetabular System, and (2) ASR Hip Replacement System, which first became available in 2003.
The most common problem with the ASR hip implant systems is that its components come loose. One of the design defects of these hip implant systems is that the cup-"acetabular prosthesis"-is too shallow causing it to: (1) dislocate, and (2) to shave cobalt and chromium off the metal-on-metal system and into the bloodstream when the joint's ball strikes against the cup's edge-"edge loading".
According to figures released by DePuy, 93,000 patients were implanted with these hip implants. There are current estimates that indicate that as high as 90% of patients with these hip implant systems will require revision surgery.
The most frequent symptoms experienced by patients are:
*dislocation of the hip
*metallosis and cobalt poisoning caused by chromium and cobalt being sheared off the system by"edge loading"
*fracture of the bone near the implant site
*inflammation and swelling
*significant difficulties walking
Metallosis can cause tissue breakdown and bone loss. Cobalt poisoning is even more insidious and can cause ringing in the ears-"tinnitus", vertigo, nerve atrophy, deafness, blindness, optic nerve atrophy, convulsions, headaches, and cardiomyopathy. Unfortunately these systems receive FDA approval through a process known as"510(K) approval process"-that did not require human tests.
DePuy Orthopedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, is now contacting patients with these hip implant systems and offering "reasonable and customary costs of monitoring and treatment". These offers do not include:
*pain and suffering associated with the failure and the revision surgery
*medical complications that may be associated with the removal and installation of a new hip implant system
*any temporary or total disabilities cause by the failure
*DePuy also requires that patients submit their bills to their own insurance companies, Medicare, or other employee sponsored health plans before they consider paying medical expenses.
Patients with these DePuy ASR hip implant systems should be extremely cautious before entering into any agreement with DePuy or Johnson & Johnson. Anyone who has had these hip implant systems used in a hip replacement should contact an experienced product liability attorney to discuss your options. The best option may be to institute a product liability lawsuit to secure full compensation for all damages incurred, e.g. medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disabilities, as well as damages for and complications incurred as a result of the revision surgery.
Should you so choose, feel free to call Edmund Scanlan toll free at 877-494-1309 for a free consultation to discuss your options. Our firm has extensive experience in product liability lawsuits and hip implant litigation in particular.