DePuy Orthopaedics has announced it’s voluntary recall of their ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System used in hip replacement surgery, due to the number of failures in patients within the first five years of implant. These failures can cause serious illnesses and health conditions, and nearly always lead to an unnecessary “revision” surgery to replace the implant. Reports indicate that 12% and 13% of the patients with these ASR hip systems report severe pain, swelling, and loss of mobility, which are signs that the implant could be loosening in the socket, fracturing, or dislocating.
The ASR hip is made up of ball and socket components that move against each other and with time, the cobalt chrome material breaks off in small particles and is absorbed into the body. This can be toxic, damaging the muscles, bones, and nerves around the hip. An Australian man recently filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for this reason, claiming that he has suffered severe injuries resulting from the amount of chrome in his blood, which is 750 times the normal level.
DePuy keeps no records of patient implants, so they have instructed all patients with an ASR hip, implanted after 2003, to contact their surgeons immediately, even if they have no symptoms. They should participate in a series of tests to determine whether their implant is at risk for failure, and in need of replacement. These tests include blood tests and radiology to see if any of the chrome particles are present in the body.
At least 93,000 people around the world have received one of the recalled Johnson & Johnson DePuy ASR hip implants.