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Defective Hip Replacement Surgery

On 24th August 2010 one of the world's major manufacturers of replacement hip joints, De Puy, (a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson) recalled two of its products in light of concerns that had been expressed regarding potential defects with the implants.

The concerns relate to two systems manufactured by the company, namely their ASR XL Acetabular Hip System and their ASR Hip Resurfacing System.  These systems were only used after July 2003, consequently, a patient who had a hip replacement using one of these products between July 2003 and 2010, when they were withdrawn from use, may have a claim for compensation.

Patients may already have experienced problems with the devices or may need expert hip surgeon's advice as to whether surgery should be undertaken to remove damaged implants and to investigate other potential consequences of use of the systems.

Hip implants would normally be expected to have a fifteen year average life span.  Accumulated data suggested that some 12 to 13 per cent of these implants were failing within the first five years.  This was considered to be an unacceptable failure rate.  Alarm bells were set ringing by numerous complaints which were lodged with the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.

Criticisms of De Puy include allegations of failure to undertake adequate testing prior to marketing the devices and also that there was sufficient evidence of problems available such that the devices should have been recalled well before 2010. 

The systems use a metal upon metal design.  It is also believed that the wearing process from such contact can result in particles being released into the area surrounding the implants, potentially causing further injury.

If you have been fitted with one of these implants, whether or not you have seen your specialist, call our Clinical Negligence team on 0191 5666500 or complete our short enquiry form and one of our experts will get back to you shortly.