DePuy Hip Replacement Side Effects

depuy hip replacement side effectsDePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has released a number of orthopedic products. While many have been successful, three particular devices have caused pain and injury to thousands of patients. DePuy recalled two of these three problematic devices due to DePuy side effects and device failure. The recalled devices include the DePuy Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) Hip Resurfacing System and the ASR XL Acetabular System for total hip replacement. The Pinnacle hip replacement system has not been recalled.

Many believe that DePuy side effects can be attributed to design flaws of the devices. DePuy stated that the device recall was due to unexpectedly high failure rates. The majority of DePuy side effects resulted from the metal-on-metal design that was selected by many doctors for their patients. Additionally, the devices were more prone to failure after normal periods of wear-and-tear. DePuy and Johnson & Johnson are now facing thousands of lawsuits from patients who have been injured from severe DePuy side effects.

Severe DePuy Side Effects

Many DePuy side effects occurred from the metal-on-metal design that DePuy offered. In order to offer customization for each patient, the ball-and-socket components of the devices were available in several material combinations. These surfaces were available in combinations of ceramic, polyethylene, and metal. A high number of patients found that the metal-on-metal option could result in severe DePuy side effects.


Metallosis is a form of metal poisoning. When the metal-on-metal components rubbed together over time, metallic debris was created. This metallic debris then built up near the implant site. It was also deposited into the bloodstream of many patients. As a result, DePuy side effects included swelling and pain near the implant site. Some patients also experienced the growth of pseudotumors, or tumor-like growths near the implant site.

Metallosis is known to cause bone, nerve, and soft tissue necrosis, or death. Patients who received a DePuy implant who experience symptoms of pain and inflammation should speak to their doctor immediately. If left untreated, necrosis can cause permanent DePuy side effects.

Implant Failure

A number of patients experienced complete device failure. The device often became loosened inside the body. This caused DePuy side effects that limited the patent’s range of motion. Some implants also became dislocated and misaligned, which created pain and immobility in patients. Many believe that the design of the ASR cup component is excessively shallow, thus contributing to the device’s failure rate.

Bone Fracture

DePuy side effects also include bone fracture. In some cases, metallosis and implant failure contributed to the breakdown of the bone around the implant site. As a result, the hip and femur bones became more brittle. After normal periods of wear-and-tear, the weakened bones fractured.

DePuy Revision Surgery

Due to the invasive nature of hip implant surgery, revision surgery can have a severe physical, financial, and emotional impact on patients. However, revision surgery may be mandatory in order to alleviate the DePuy side effects that patients experience from recalled implant devices. Hip implant patients are encouraged to speak with their doctors to determine if revision surgery should be considered.

The National Joint Registry of England and Wales conducted a five-year study on DePuy ASR patients. The study revealed that roughly 12 percent of ASR resurfacing patients required revision surgery in order to correct problems caused by the device. Of the ASR total hip replacement patients that were studied, 13 percent required revision surgery.

DePuy Litigation

More than 90,000 patients worldwide received a DePuy ASR implant. As of early 2013, more than 7,000 patients have filed lawsuits against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson to receive personal and financial compensation for their DePuy side effects. The first ASR trial took place in early 2013. Evidence presented during the trial estimates that within the next five years, roughly 40 percent of patients may require revision surgery to correct DePuy side effects that arise from the devices.

Show Sources
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  2. "Joint Revision Surgery - When Do I Need It?." OrthoInfo. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, n.d. Web. 5 Apr 2013.
  3. Meier, Barry. "Maker Aware of 40% Failure in Hip Implant." New York Times 21 Jan 2013, A1. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.
  4. "What a Company Knew About Its Metal Hips." New York Times 11 Feb. 2013: A18(L). Academic OneFile. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.