An increasing number of artificial hip implants have been recalled in recent years due to a high failure rate and the resulting need for additional surgeries, or revision surgeries. Because defective hip implants and revision surgeries are associated with costly medical bills, significant pain, and a long rehabilitation period, the potential for these medical devices to fail has become a major source of concern among patients and their families. Consumers are often treated with a surgically-implanted artificial hip if their hip joint has been damaged by injury or some form of arthritis, and are under the impression that the hip implant will relieve their pain and restore the mobility and function of their hip joint. Unfortunately, there are a number of defective hip implants on the market, some of which have not yet been recalled, with the potential to cause serious harm to consumers.
Hip Implant Devices Plagued by FDA Recalls
Perhaps the medical device company that has been hit the hardest by the hip implant recalls is DePuy Orthopaedics, one of the biggest manufacturers of orthopedic devices, joint replacement devices, and operating room products. Among the hip implants that have been recalled by the FDA are the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System, the Zimmer Durom Cup, and two hip implants manufactured by Stryker Corporation, the Trident PSL and the Trident Hemispherical Acetabular Cup. DePuy hip implant recalls began to be issued after it was discovered that 12-13% of people who received a DePuy hip implant required a revision surgery within only five years of the initial surgery.
Possible Side Effects of Defective Hip Implants
DePuy Orthopaedics is a division of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, and has implanted artificial hip devices in approximately 93,000 people around the world. However, after complaints from patients who received a DePuy hip implant began to surface, it was discovered that the implant could fail, caused by fracture of the bone around the implant, loosening of the implant, or dislocation, in which the two parts of the implant are no longer properly aligned. Metal-on-metal hip implants are particularly dangerous because, in addition to these potential side effects, the devices may also allow tiny metal particles to wear off and enter the space around the implant, possibly even entering the bloodstream. These hazardous metal particles can damage the bone and tissue around the joint, possibly resulting in the need for revision surgery, and may even have serious adverse effects on the nervous system, heart and thyroid gland.
Recommendations for Recipients of Hip Implants
Although there are some artificial hip implants that haven't yet been subjected to an FDA recall, the potential side effects of these medical devices may be the same as those that have already been recalled. If you are uncertain about which type of hip implant you have and whether or not it has been recalled, contact the orthopedic surgeon who performed your procedure. If you develop new or debilitating symptoms associated with your hip since receiving a hip implant, including pain, numbness, swelling, and/or change in ability to walk, contact your orthopedic surgeon immediately to discuss the possibility of requiring a revision surgery to repair or replace the defective hip implant.