Defective DePuy ASR hip devices could cause bone fractures

Concern is continuing to grow over the tendency for  Johnson & Johnson‘s DePuy ASR devices which were recalled in 2010 to cause fractures of the femur, pelvis or hip bone.

Surgeons must securely cement or press-fit the hip device in place, with strong attachments to the hip and pelvic bones in order to construct a stable joint. Without this stability the joint is prone to loosening and possibly even complete detachment. The DePuy ASR hip implants have an unprecedented failure rate because of their tendency to loosen and detach and without stability in the hip, bones are likely to fracture.

The flawed design of the ASR implants means that the metal components of the device rub together. This creates a fine metallic dust which enters the bloodstream and tissue surrounding the hip, compromising the strength of the hip. When this happens, bones near the hip can become unstable and the chance of fracturing the hip bone, pelvic bone or femur increases.

Due to the immense discomfort that the ASR implants can cause patients, it is not uncommon for patient to be unaware of the additional pain caused by a fractured bone. When fractures go untreated, they can become more severe, causing irreparable damage. As a result it is crucial that revision surgeries are carried out either to completely replace the hip or to change the parts of the device that are causing problems. Over 1 in 10 recipients of ASR devices has been forced to have such procedures, a truly alarming statistic.

It is undoubtedly more difficult for a surgeon to perform a revision surgery than it is to carry out the initial implantation. It is more difficult still when a bone has been fractured because it makes it difficult for the surgeon to use that bone to keep the implant stable. Revision surgeries following fractures are therefore harder on both the patient and the surgeon. The chances of complications are increased and recovery is likely to take longer.

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