DePuy and Zimmer Hip Replacement Recall

Stueve Siegel Hanson is investigating DePuy and Zimmer hip replacement systems.

As total hip replacements become more common, so do complications associated with the procedure. Even leading manufacturers have acknowledged problems related to their own hip implant devices.

Chronic pain and impairment of daily function (such as walking, climbing stairs and even standing up from a sitting position) due to severe hip arthritis are the most common reasons for total hip replacement. Unfortunately, these problems – and worse complications – can re-appear following corrective surgery.

The artificial hip failure replacement symptoms include:

  • Pain in hip, thigh or groin;
  • swelling;
  • suffering from pain while walking;
  • pain while bearing weight or even rising from a seated position;
  • discomfort caused by grinding between the ball and socket;
  • bone loss caused by inflammation and reduced range of motion.

If the hip devices deteriorate, then they are capable of depositing small pieces of cobalt as well as chromium into blood streams.  When these enter the blood stream it can bring about a condition known as asceptic lymphocyte-dominated vasculitis associated lesion that can cause serious disabilities, which include: feeling of confusion and forgetfulness, hip area pseudotumors, chronic pain in almost any area, chronic malaise - a vague symptom that makes someone feels generally unwell, gastrointestinal problems, feelings of anxiety and other emotional disturbances like mood swings and depression, dizziness, headaches, recurring infections, allergies to particular foods, nervous system problems (including hearing, sight, numbness and cognition problems), extreme tingling and tremors.

The most frequent cause of hip replacement failure is dislocation. Your chances of this happening are most likely during the first few weeks after your surgery. If the muscles surrounding your hip are weak or you’re overweight, you’re more prone to dislocation. Your best bet is to avoid strenuous exercise or activities that put stress on your hip in the weeks following your surgery.

Blood clots following surgery are also a possibility. Leg pain and redness – often in the calf area – are sure signs you’ll want to follow up with your surgeon. Blood clots that dislodge and travel to your lungs are dangerous and can lead to death. To reduce your chances of blood clots, incorporate leg exercises into your daily routine.

Hip Replacement Recalls

In 2010, Johnson & Johnson and its medical device subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics, recalled two acetyabular cups hip replacement systems because of their high rate of failures and new data showing a higher number of patients needing a second hip replacement. The action follows extensive reports of hip replacement pain and failures from the defective products and asks for medical and orthopaedic surgeons to monitor their patients more closely. The system first became available in the US in 2005, and Johnson & Johnson was given clearance from FDA to market its devices without the need to perform clinical trials first. The special clearance was given to test the safety of the products, but there were complaints received by the FDA from those who had the ASR hip replacements.

According to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), one in eight patients will be forced to undergo hip replacement surgery again due to defects in the ASR XL Acetabular metal-on-metal hip replacement system.  When these medical devices fail to work as promised, you’re left with severe pain and less mobility than before the surgery.

When the implant has to be replaced entirely, it is expensive and presents all the usual medical risks of surgery, not to mention the disruption of everyday life and work. The usual purpose of a hip replacement lawsuit is recovering monetary compensation for these losses.

DePuy Orthopaedics, maker of the recalled acetabular cups was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1998. They design, manufacture, market and distribute products for reconstructing damaged or diseased joints. DePuy's hip resurfacing product, a form of hip replacement arthroplasty, provided patients with an alternative to total hip replacement where less bone could be removed and less hip dislocations occur. Unfortunately those benefits would be greatly outweighed by the dangers of DePuy's defective hip replacement.

The Zimmer hip replacement recall involves the Zimmer Durom cup.  Some patients implanted with it experienced significant complications following their surgeries, causing revision surgeries and leading to the recall of Zimmer hips in 2008.

Hip replacement makers are under a legal duty to design and manufacture and test properly the safety of their devices. They are also accountable for responsibly marketing their products and properly warning the public about any health risks. When they fail at or ignore those duties, the patients who suffer from their negligence may have legal claims to compensation for their injuries.

If you or someone you know received a DePuy or Zimmer hip replacement – even if it has not yet failed or caused noticeable problems – you may have a compensable claim to bring against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson. To receive additional information about your legal options, please call 1.888.756.6494.

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