DePuy intended its ASR hips as a safe alternative for younger, active people who needed a hip that would last them for many years. In reality the DePuy ASR hips fail in recipients more often than expected, and initial estimates suggested that one recipient in eight would require a painful revision procedure. The actual failure rate might range from 21 percent at four years after implantation to 49 percent at six years. The high failure rates prompted DePuy’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, to initiate a worldwide recall of both the ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System, affecting as many as 37,000 people in the United States and 93,000 worldwide.
Because of the DePuy hip recall’s enormity, many hip replacement recipients might wish to know the symptoms of a failing hip replacement, in case theirs has a design defect:
- Hip, thigh, or groin pain
- Pain while walking, rising from a seated position, or while placing weight on one side or another
- Discomfort, joint dislocation, and clicking sounds from the interaction between the ball and socket joint
- Reduced range of motion
- Bone loss (resorption) from inflammation in the hip area
If you have any of these symptoms, please consult with your physician as soon as possible. The sooner you discuss your symptoms with your orthopedist, the sooner any problems you have can be corrected. Without medical intervention your DePuy ASR hip might continue to deteriorate. One problem to be concerned about is metal poisoning, specifically cobalt and chromium. The hip’s metal components can grind together, causing these metal ions to flake off and damage the surrounding tissues. Here are the symptoms caused by metal poisoning:
- Pseudotumors – swollen tissue that resembles a tumor but is not one
- Asceptic lymphocyte-dominated vasculitis associated lesion (ALVAL) – an adverse allergic reaction to metal toxins
- “Brain fog”
- Persistent pain
- Persistent feelings of malaise
- Allergies to foods
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Recurring infections
- Skin rashes
- Emotional disturbance
- Heart problems (cardiomyopathy)
- Peripheral neuropathy – tingling feelings in the extremities
- Nerve damage
- Hypothyroidism – a lack of thyroid hormone
- Problems with sight, hearing, and cognition
When you discuss your symptoms with your doctor, you will probably undergo a blood test to determine if there are metal particles around your DePuy ASR hip.
Without care, your hip replacement might fail completely. This can happen for a few reasons:
- The implant detaches from the bone due to loosening
- The implant dislocates, meaning its parts are no longer aligned
- One of the bones the implant is attached to fractures
If your implant fails, you will have to undergo hip surgery again, and it might not prevent permanent damage.
Even if you do not have any symptoms of hip replacement failure, it’s still highly recommended that you visit your doctor and undergo all necessary testing anyway. In June 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) convened an advisory committee meeting that produced recommendations for monitoring metal-on-metal hip replacement recipients.
- Recipients with pain should have regular x-ray screenings and blood tests
- Recipients without symptoms should only have x-rays
Testing will probably continue for as long as the implant is in your body, but keep track of your medical expenses to document how much your hip cost you.
RLG Represents Recipients with Failed Hips
If you received a recalled DePuy ASR hip and believe it is failing, do not hesitate to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Once your health is taken care of, you should take legal action against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson as soon as you are ready. The process of obtaining compensation from a company that created a defective hip will not be easy, but the Rottenstein Law Group harnesses 25 years of collective experience to compassionately advocate for consumers. For a complimentary, private consultation with a lawyer, click on this link or call 1-877-277-5767.