As Published on the DePuy Hip Replacement Website
Today’s medical advances have provided different options for hip replacement patients. Every option has its own risk-and-benefit features which an orthopedic surgeon considers when recommending a procedure based on the patient’s profile. As the number of patients who have received the artificial implant increased worldwide, so are the concern and complaints against such implants. It has been in recent news that India State files complaint against DePuy with Mumbai police.
Hip Replacement Devices Currently, there are four devices available for total hip implant replacement according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website:
• Metal-on-Polyethylene: The ball is made of metal and the socket is made of plastic (polyethylene) or has a plastic lining. • Ceramic-on-Polyethylene: The ball is made of ceramic and the socket is made of plastic (polyethylene) or has a plastic lining. • Metal-on-Metal: The ball and socket are both made of metal. • Ceramic-on-Ceramic: The ball is made of ceramic and the socket has a ceramic lining.
Hip Replacement or Hip Arthroplasty was invented in 1962 by Sir John Charnley, an orthopedic surgeon in England. It has been considered one of the surgical breakthroughs of the twentieth century. Seven years later, the first total hip replacement was performed in the U.S.
Traditionally, an implant system consists of a plastic cup (socket), a metal ball (femoral head), and a metal stem that is attached to the shaft of the femur. Since the plastic socket wears away easily, an all metal device made of cobalt-chrome material was introduced in the market. It quickly became a popular choice due to its durability compared to the plastic material.
According to The New York Times article, metal-on-metal implants account for one-third of the approximately 250,000 hip replacements performed annually in the U.S. There is, however, a growing concern in the country over the safety of these metal-on-metal devices. To add to this anxiety, reports about the rising failure rate of the DePuy ASR Hip Implant have surfaced.
The National Joint Registry for England and Wales said that the all-metal artificial hip had failed in about one-third of the patients who had been followed for the longest time. This led to a voluntary recall of the DePuy ASR™ XL Acetabular System on August 24, 2010 as announced by the U.S. FDA.
Unaware of the issue, many of the patients who underwent an all-metal hip replacement had not taken some of the symptoms of the system failure too seriously. They are now beginning to see the magnitude of the situation and have started to take active involvement. There has been an increasing DePuy ASR lawsuit filed.