Overview: The DePuy ASR hip implant, a metal-on-metal hip replacement that was recalled due to a high rate of failure, affected some 93,000 patients worldwide. This includes at least 100 patients in Singapore, according to The Straits Times. Public records show that at least seven people have already undergone revision surgery to remove the recalled implant.
- At least 100 patients in Singapore are implanted with the DePuy ASR hip implant; at least 7 have undergone revision surgery
- The DePuy ASR hip implant was recalled in August 2010 due to a high rate of failure; Johnson & Johnson recalled 93,000 units worldwide
- The DePuy recall brought international attention to metal-on-metal hips, which have now been linked to numerous complications; their use as a class altogether have been questioned by a number of experts
Product: DePuy ASR Hip Implant
Manufacturer: DePuy Orthopaedics/ Johnson & Johnson
Side Effects & Complications
- High failure rate
- Necrosis (tissue death)
- Increased levels of cobalt and chromium ions
- Pain at the implant, sometimes spreading to the groin and back
- Osteolysis (bone loss)
- Fluid collections/solid masses around the hip joint
DePuy ASR Recall
The DePuy ASR hip implant was recalled in August 2010, when data showed that the device was failing in a large proportion of patients after only a few years. According to data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, about 12 percent of patients needed to undergo revision surgery within five years. Artificial hips are intended to last 10 to fifteen years. The global recall made metal-on-metal hip implants a primary concern in the medical community, and research has continued to investigate the complications associated with such devices. A study in the Lancet, for instance, found that all-metal hips fail at a rate of 6 percent in five years compared to 2 percent seen in plastic or ceramic implants. The results prompted the authors of the study to call an end to their use.
Metal-on-metal hip implants have come under scrutiny, particularly after the DePuy ASR recall. The implants are known to shed metal ions into the bloodstream and local tissue. Research has linked the release of metallic debris to complications such as tissue necrosis, metallosis, pain, swelling, inflammation and pseudotumors. In some cases, side effects become so severe that patients are forced to undergo revision surgery to remove the implant.
Some Singapore Patients Receive Medical Coverage for Faulty Implants
The patients undergoing revision surgery in Singapore add to the thousands of cases around the world from recipients who suffered complications heavily associated with the DePuy ASR. Company records show that 115 people received the recalled implant from 2006 and 2010. Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority has offered to pay for medical expenses when removing the device and has also set up a hotline for victims suffering from complications.