The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — the federal agency tasked with ensuring the safety of America’s food supplies, pharmaceuticals and medical devices — has been inundated in recent months by consumer complaints about allegedly faulty hip replacements.
In response to the thousands of patient submissions complaining about the performance of the implants, the FDA tasked the four main manufacturers of the devices — DePuy Orthopedics (a division of Johnson & Johnson), Zimmer Holdings, Wright Medical and Biomet — with providing research about the performance of the devices. The agency then set a deadline of November for determining the exact parameters of the studies needed, so time is running out.
Why Are These Implants Failing?
The majority of the complaints from patients have been from those who have been implanted with hips constructed solely with metal components. These so-called “metal-on-metal” devices have been shown to — in some patients — release microscopic particles of cobalt and chromium into the soft tissues surrounding the implant, causing irreparable damage and chronic pain for some users.
The all-metal hip joint implants have also been shown to have a much higher failure rate than traditional, mixed-component devices that combine metal parts with surgical grade plastic or rubber, sometimes failing after only a few years instead of the expected 15 years. Faster failure of the implant means additional trauma for patients who now face added injury, pain, expense, risk and rehabilitation.
Are You at Risk?
In 2010, Johnson & Johnson took the surprising step of recalling thousands of a particular type of all-metal DePuy brand hip implant called the Anterior Surface Replacement (ASR). The devastating effects of these faulty implants have already led to many lawsuits around the country, and more are expected as the failure rate increases and the FDA’s studies reveal the true extent of the problem.
Philadelphia Defective Medical Device Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Provide Legal Representation for Victims Injured By Defective Hip Implants
If you or a loved one is dealing with the effects of a defective hip implant (or you know you have been implanted with a recalled device but haven’t yet suffered symptoms), contact a skilled Philadelphia products liability lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call our offices at 215-569-8488 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.