Michael Werner, an attorney at the national personal injury firm of Parker Waichman LLP, gives important legal tips to people who are pursuing litigation over the DePuy ASR hip implant. The DePuy ASR hip implant is a metal-on-metal hip replacement that has been shrouded in controversy since DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, recalled the device in 2010. The device was recalled due to reports of early failure in an unacceptably high proportion of patients. The recall has prompted lawsuits all around the country, with thousands of patients alleging that the defective implant caused painful injuries and early revision surgery. According to a federal judge involved in the litigation, people who are having revision surgery should have the implant retained and reserved as evidence in order to protect their legal rights. Certain fluids, such as blood and serum, should also be preserved for later analysis. Patients who are considering filing a lawsuit should speak to an attorney before undergoing revision surgery.
The alleged problem with the DePuy ASR and other metal-on-metal implants is that the devices release metallic debris, typically in the form cobalt and chromium ions. These metal particles can enter the bloodstream and become absorbed in the tissue nearby, leading to pain, swelling, pseudotumors, tissue necrosis, bone loss and high levels of metal in the blood. Sometimes, these symptoms will lead to a revision surgery, where the implant is removed.