The recall of the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System by DePuy Orthopaedics could affect as many as 93,000 replacement hip recipients worldwide. If you have undergone hip replacement surgery since July 2003, there is a chance that this massive hip recall applies to you.
DePuy issued the recall after data from the National Joint Registry from England and Wales indicated that the ASRs fail in 1 out of 8 patients within five years of implantation. Some experts believe that the ASR devices contain a design flaw that makes them difficult to implant, although DePuy has denied this. The bottom line, though, is that 12.5 percent of ASR recipients require a second hip replacement surgery. Some patients experience painful, tumor-like inflammation because the ASR they received produces toxic metal flakes. Others suffer from a dislocated hip or an implant that does not adhere to bone the way it should. In rare cases, bone fractures occur due to a defective ASR implant.
But even if you have not experienced pain, discomfort, difficult walking, or other adverse side effects, you still need to find out whether you received an ASR hip as soon as possible. Because DePuy does not keep records of ASR patients, you need to call your orthopedic surgeon. In the event that you do not remember his or her name, you can also call the hospital where your surgery was performed.
Prompt action on your part has two important benefits. First and foremost, your health is at stake. You will need to undergo testing to determine whether your hip is performing normally. Again, this is important even in the absence of painful side effects. It could take years before you develop symptoms of a failing hip, and you might need to return for testing on an annual basis.
In addition, contacting your doctor as soon as possible ensures that a statute of limitations does not expire. If too much time elapses, you may be unable to take legal action against DePuy. Although this may not be a priority for you at the moment, it might be necessary to file a lawsuit in the future in order to obtain compensation from DePuy for injuries, pain, suffering, and other losses you suffer due to a defective ASR implant.
Despite DePuy’s assertion that it does not keep records of ASR patients, the company is requesting that ASR recipients call their “Help Line” in order to identify themselves and initiate a claim. This could, in fact, be counterproductive to a patient hoping to be reimbursed for costs related to the DePuy hip recall. DePuy may try to use what you say to minimize the value of your claim, or blame you for your injuries. Before calling DePuy or speaking with a representative of the company, you should speak with a hip recall attorneywho has your best interests in mind.