Update from an Ohio Depuy Hip Recall Attorney
DePuy Orthopeadics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, recently announced that it is phasing out production of all-metal replacement hips. This includes the recalled all-metal model known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R., and the all-metal Pinnacle model. The company states its decision its decision is made due to the declining demand and in light of U.S. regulators seeking new rules for the products.
This announcement is not surprising given the apparent design flaws and early failure rates in these devices. Johnson & Johnson currently faces over 10,000 lawsuits related to the A.S.R. and 3,300 cases related to the all-metal Pinnacle, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Problems with Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
In conventional hip implants, the ball and cup have a ceramic or plastic surface. These parts of the implant wear out over time as they rub against each other. The idea behind the ASR and Pinnacle implants was to make the moving parts out of a more durable material-metal, a cobalt-chromium alloy to be specific. But these "metal-on-metal" implants suffer from an inherent design flaw: they release metal ions as the surfaces of the ball and cup rub together. These tiny atom- sized particles of cobalt and chromium are released into the surrounding tissues causing inflammation and pain. They also get into the blood stream and travel throughout the body where they can potentially damage organs such as the heart and brain.