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DePuy Orthopaedics Metal Hip Replacement FAQ

What is the DePuy Orthopaedic Implant?

The DePuy Orthopaedic hip replacement implants are hip replacement devices that were said to be more durable and longer-lasting than traditional hip implants because of their metal-on-metal design. They are manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, which is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

How is the DePuy Orthopaedic hip implant different from other implants?

Other hip implants typically have a ceramic component. With the DePuy hip replacement, both the ball and socket are metal. Unfortunately, the normal wear and tear of the hip joint can cause pieces of metal to separate and be released into the surrounding tissue, possibly causing soft tissue damage.

Why are there DePuy Orthopaedic hip replacement lawsuits?

DePuy hip replacement lawsuits have been filed because the DePuy hip replacement has been shown to have a higher failure rate than other hip replacements. The normal failure rate for hip replacements is between five and six percent. With the DePuy hip implant, the failure rate is between 12 and 13 percent.

With hip replacement surgeries, the implanted hip typically lasts approximately 15 years. When the replacement fails sooner than that, patients must undergo revision surgery much sooner than anticipated. Hip replacement revision surgery can be complicated and can have a greater risk of failure. In some cases, patients reported that their DePuy hip implant began failing within two years of surgery.

Has there been a DePuy Orthopaedic hip implant recall?

Yes. In August 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics DePuy announced a voluntary recall of approximately 93,000 DePuy implants. Those implants included the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, which was used from 2005 through 2009, and the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular hip prosthesis, which was used from 2008 through 2009.

Why were the DePuy Orthopeadic implants recalled?

There are two serious complications reportedly linked to the DePuy hip implant. The first is that the lack of depth in the cup (or the socket) means the ball can become loose and dislocate. The second is that loose metal shavings (debris) can become dislodged from the hip implant and can cause soft tissue damage. In both cases, the hip implant can fail, requiring hip replacement revision surgery to replace the implant.

What are the signs that the DePuy Orthopaedic hip has failed?

DePuy implant failure is often evident by difficulty or pain walking, popping or crunching sensations when walking, pain when bearing weight and/or pain when rising from a seated position.

What happens if my DePuy Orthopaedic hip fails?

If your DePuy hip implant fails, you will have to undergo hip replacement revision surgery to replace the hip implant. Revision surgery—surgery to replace the hip implant—is more complex than the initial hip replacement surgery and can have a long recovery time. Furthermore, there is a higher risk of complications with each revision surgery.

Are there other consequences of a DePuy Orthopaedic hip implant failure?

Yes. Metal shavings (called debris) that result from the metal-on-metal contact in the hip implant can enter the tissue and cells surrounding the implant, resulting in a condition called metallosis. Metallosis can cause inflammation and scarring around the implant. Furthermore, as the body tries to eliminate the debris, bone and soft tissue damage can occur.

When should I contact a lawyer concerning my DePuy Orthopaedic hip implant?

If you have had a DePuy Orthopaedic hip implant you should speak to an attorney about your legal options.

What should I do if I have the DePuy Orthopaedic hip implant but it hasn't failed?

You should still contact an attorney. Even if the implant has not yet failed, you may still have developed metallosis or could develop it over time.

What if I don't know if I have a DePuy Orthopaedic hip implanted?

You can contact your doctor or your surgeon to determine which type of hip implant device you received during your hip replacement surgery.

Has DePuy Orthopaedics agreed to cover any expenses related to the failed hip implants?

Yes, DePuy Orthopaedics has said it will cover the costs associated with revision surgery linked to failed hip replacements.
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Last updated on Oct-7-10

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