Parker Waichman LLP Addresses All-Metal Hip Safety Concerns as J&J Recalls 7,500 Adept Hip Implants

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Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit is once again having issues with metal-on-metal hip implants, as the company recalls 7,500 Adept hip implants sold outside of the United States. According to Reuters, the all-metal hip implant was recalled due to a high failure rate, which is the same reason the DePuy ASR was recalled in 2010.

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The fact that Johnson & Johnson is recalling yet another metal-on-metal hip implant further suggests that the issues seen with the DePuy ASR are common to all-metal hip replacements as a class of medical devices.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective medical devices, is informing the public about another metal-on-metal hip implant recall by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy unit. According to a Reuters report published on February 18th, the company has recalled 7,500 Adept modular heads, a component that is placed atop the femoral stem in the metal-on-metal hip replacement. This is J&J’s second metal-on-metal hip implant recall in two and a half years; following the blockbuster DePuy ASR recall in August 2010, the company has been facing thousands of lawsuits alleging injuries from the allegedly defective devices.

“The fact that Johnson & Johnson is recalling yet another metal-on-metal hip implant further suggests that the issues seen with the DePuy ASR are common to all-metal hip replacements as a class of medical devices,” said Daniel C. Burke, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman LLP. Parker Waichman continues to offer free legal consultations to hip replacement patients implanted with the DePuy ASR, along with other all-metal hip devices. The firm advises hip replacement patients to speak with their surgeons if they experience symptoms such as:

  •         Pain
  •         Swelling
  •         Difficulty walking, or a change in your ability to walk
  •         Popping, creaking, or other sounds emanating from the area of the implant
  •         Metallosis, high levels of metal ions
  •         Early failure, revision surgery

J&J has recalled the Adept hip implant component due to a higher than acceptable rate of failure. Reuters reports that, according British data, the implants failed in 12 percent of patients after seven years; data from an Australian registry indicates a failure rate of 7 percent in three years. When the implants fail, patients report symptoms such as pain and difficulty walking. The company says that the 7,500 hip implants were sold between 2004 and 2011 in 21 different countries, but not in the United States.

The Daily News points out that this is Johnson & Johnson’s second metal hip implant recall since 2010, when the company recalled 93,000 ASR hip implants due to a high failure rate. At the time of the recall, J&J said that the implants failed at a rate of 12 percent in five years. More recent data from an Australian national registry, however, indicates a failure rate upwards of 40 percent.

There are over 10,000 lawsuits alleging injuries from the DePuy ASR due to its metal-on-metal design. The first of these lawsuits went to trial in Los Angeles state court (Kransky v. DePuy, BC456086, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County). The Plaintiff is Loren Kransky, a 65-year old retired corrections officer who alleges that his DePuy ASR hip implant caused severe complications, including elevated levels of metal ions and early revision surgery. The lawsuit is one of thousands alleging that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the defects in the metal hip implant, but did not warn consumers, their doctors or the public.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently addressed safety concerns with metal-on-metal hip implants such as the Adept and the DePuy ASR, which consist of a metal ball atop the thighbone rotating within the metal cup. According to Kransky’s lawsuit and thousands of others, the friction between these components generates cobalt and chromium debris, leading to pain, swelling, tissue death, metallosis and other serious complications leading to revision surgery. The FDA has issued new guidelines for patients implanted with these devices, advising physical examinations, diagnostic imaging and metal ion testing as needed. The agency has also proposed stricter regulations for metal-on-metal hip implants that would require manufacturers to show that the devices are safe and effective before selling them.

Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims of metal-on-metal hip implant injuries. If you or a loved one experienced premature failure of your implant or other health problems associated with a metal-on-metal hip implant, please contact their office by visiting the firm's Defective Hip Implants page at Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636).

Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney
(800) LAW-INFO
(800) 529-4636

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Gary Falkowitz
Parker Waichman LLP
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