Revision surgeries following the DePuy ASR recall

DePuy recalled 93,000 ASR hip devices in 2010 following reports of high failure rates. The health problems that these devices caused patients have meant that thousands need revision surgeries to correct the damage done. These are painful, risky and difficult to recover from.

When a hip implant reaches the end of its life span or poses significant harm to the patient, a revision surgery will be performed. Replacement hips should last nearly a quarter of a century however the DePuy ASR hips were found to fail in nearly 40% of patients within 5 years. The medical negligence scandal that followed seems likely to cost parent company, Johnson & Johnson billions of dollars.

Revision surgeries require a high level of surgical skill and are also costly, painful and difficult to recover from for the patient. In order to be certain that the revision surgery is safe, surgeons will look at the following considerations:

  • The age and size of the patient
  • Whether or not the patient is otherwise in good health
  • How stable the bones are
  • How much tissue damage there is
  • Which type of implant was used initially
  • How much bone cement was used

Surgeons must take great time and care to perform a revision surgery. Firstly, the old device must be removed. If the hip has been weakened by a bone fracture or metallosis for example, this can lead to pieces of bone being lost and other issues. Detaching the device from the femur is particularly difficult and if bone cement was used to fit the implant during the first surgery, several cuts will need to be made to the bone to disconnect the implant. The surgeon must then attach the new device and ensure that it is stable and secure before the surgery is complete.

There are various health risks associated with revision surgeries, including:

  • Infection
  • Differences in leg length
  • Heightened risk of dislocation
  • Shorter life-cycle for the new implant

Given these possible complications, patients will generally need longer to recover, both in hospital and at home.

Have you had to undergo hip revision surgery? You could claim compensation

If you have been forced to undergo the horrible experience of revision surgery after receiving a dysfunctional hip implant, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Our medical negligence specialists can help, so:

  • Call us on 01722 422300, or

Comments or questions are welcome.

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