According to the American-Statesman (05/02/11), plaintiff Jane Rogers underwent five hip replacement surgeries starting on April 16, 2007. The surgeries were initially performed because she had osteoarthritis in her hips, and so hip replacement devices were implanted in both hips; the first in 2007 and the second in 2008. Rogers was reportedly given the recalled DePuy hip replacement devices.
After developing problems with her hips, the DePuy devices were removed. The first revision surgery, on one hip, occurred in 2010, with the second occurring in 2011. During that time, Rogers was also given a temporary hip due to an infection. In all, Rogers had five surgeries in four years.
Revision surgeries are not only costly, they are also complex, and each surgery increases the risks of serious complications. That is because revision surgery is not as simple as taking out one device and implanting another; each surgery increases the risk of dislocation of the hip because the muscle becomes less stable. Furthermore, patients who have revision surgery often require months of recovery and rehabilitation.
Rogers' lawsuit alleges that at the time of her second surgery, in 2008, DePuy knew about the high failure rate of the ASR XL but did not warn doctors about that rate until 2010.
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The concern surrounding the recall of the DePuy hip devices was strong enough that the US Senate Special Committee on Aging met to discuss how the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees approval of medical devices. One witness at the hearing, whose testimony can be seen online at the US Senate Special Committee on Aging Web site (aging.senate.gov), noted that a blood test showed her cobalt and chromium levels were 1,000 percent higher than normal, resulting in revision surgery to remove her DePuy hip implant device.
The witness said that what troubled her about the situation was that her doctor reportedly received more than $600,000 in consulting fees from DePuy, but did not tell her about that income before the surgery was conducted.