New Information Surfaces Showing Patients Who Received the Recently Recalled DePuy Hip Replacement are at Risk of Heavy Metal Toxicity

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New Information has Surfaced that the Recently Recalled DePuy Hip Replacement can Cause Increasingly Toxic Serum Levels of the Heavy Metal Cobalt

According to Philadelphia Lawyer Leonard V. Fodera of Silverman and Fodera, a report just released by Dr. Stephen S. Tower and published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (http://www.ejbjs.org/cgi/reprint/JBJS.J.00125v1.pdf) shows increasing toxic serum levels of the heavy metal cobalt in two 49 year old men who received the DePuy hip replacement.

Since DePuy Orthopedics announced the worldwide recall of the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System in August of this year, more and more information has come to light about the damages that a failing DePuy hip can cause

Mr. Fodera states that even if the hip seems to be working properly and there are no current symptoms, the nature of the failure of these hips could be putting a person’s health in jeopardy. As noted in Dr. Tower's report because these hips are “metal on metal,” their design may allow metal particles to enter the body due to friction and wear of the metal surfaces. Specifically DePuy hips can release cobalt into the body. Cobalt is a heavy metal that is considered toxic even at low levels.

Mr. Fodera and the product liability litigators of Silverman and Fodera, who played a significant role in the Fen-phen mass tort lawsuit, have set up the web site http://hipreplacementrecalllawsuit.org and suggest anyone who has received a hip replacement in the U.S.after July 23, 2003 contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

The case report, focusing on cobalt levels in DePuy hip replacement patients, was published on October 29, 2010 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery by Dr. Stephen S. Tower, an orthopedic surgeon practicing in Alaska. Dr. Tower first notes that a serum cobalt level greater than 5 µg/L is considered toxic. This article discussed two 49 year old men who underwent hip replacement using the DePuy ASR System. Surprisingly, one of the men was Dr. Tower himself. In the first case, the serum cobalt level 36 months after the hip replacement surgery was 122 µg/L. In the other man, the serum cobalt level one year after surgery was 23 µg/L, and the cobalt level in his joint fluid at 40 months after the surgery was 3300 µg/L.

Dr. Tower pointed out that people with metal on metal hips can develop excess cobalt levels even if the hips are not causing any pain. The symptoms of excess cobalt that the men in Dr. Tower’s report experienced included fatigue, anxiety, headaches, hearing loss, ringing of the ears, tremors, cognitive decline and visual impairment.

“It is important that victims of the defective DePuy hip replacement understand that if DePuy attempts to contact them or sends them any paperwork to sign that they avoid doing so,” said Leonard V. Fodera, partner at Silverman and Fodera. “Signing any paperwork may result in the victim giving up their rights to an adequate recovery.” For more information on the DePuy hip replacement recall lawsuit visit the web site http://hipreplacementrecalllawsuit.org.

Silverman and Fodera is a law firm that has been helping victims of corporate negligence and defective products nationwide for over 20 years. Silverman and Fodera played a significant role in the Fen-Phen litigation in which they resolved over $200 million dollars in claims throughout the country. For more information call 1-800-220-LAW1 or visit http://www.civilrights.com.

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Michael Lalli
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