DePuy Orthopaedics

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DePuy is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The company is a leading designer, manufacturer, and distributor of medical devices and supplies. They are specially focused on orthopedic devices. DePuy is the world’s oldest manufacturer of orthopedics. There are five separate divisions of DePuy: DePuy Orthopaedics, DePuy Acromed, DePuy ACE, DePuy CMW, and DePuy International. In 2011, DePuy agreed to a merger deal with Synthes. The merger will form the world’s largest orthopedic corporation.

While a number of DePuy products have been successful, the company faces consumer complaints from patients who received ASR and Pinnacle hip replacements. More than 10,000 lawsuits have been filed against DePuy regarding injuries sustained from these devices. A number of these federal claims are consolidated into multidistrict litigations. Additionally, controversy surrounds complications that have resulted from DePuy’s high-flex knee devices.

DePuy History

DePuy was originally founded by a traveling pharmaceuticals salesman named Revra DePuy. Revra DePuy founded DePuy Manufacturing in Warsaw, Indiana in 1895. DePuy originally produced a fiber splint for setting broken bones. This splint came to replace wooden barrel staves that were used beforehand.

In 1998, manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson acquired DePuy. DePuy now operates in several countries, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, and Australia. Additionally, DePuy operates under the Johnson & Johnson Medical organization. The DePuy portfolio features more than 200 orthopedic products.

Most of DePuy’s revenues are from the manufacture and distribution of hip and limb implants, knee replacements, environmental protection products, and surgical equipment. They are particularly known for the success of their joint replacement products such as the AML Total Hip System and the LCS Total Knee System.

DePuy Legal Troubles

However, DePuy has also had problems with their products in the past. Some of these issues have led to serious patient injuries, product recalls, and lawsuits. The DePuy ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) Hip Resurfacing System and the ASR XL Acetabular System total hip replacement were recalled in August of 2010 by DePuy Orthopaedics. DePuy had uncovered information about patients experiencing pain and other side effects from these hip replacement devices.

Hip Implant Lawsuits

There are several lawsuits involving substantial problems with the ASR and Pinnacle hip implants. Thousands of patients experienced problems with pain and swelling. Some implants caused severe nerve, muscle, and bone damage. Blood poisoning has also been reported, due to the material from the metal-on-metal implants. Over time, these components can rub together and corrode into the patients’ bodies. This can cause metallosis, osteolysis and other serious health complications.

DePuy Knee Replacements

Current research has indicated a need for caution involving DePuy high-flex knee replacement devices. DePuy manufactures two high-flex knee replacement devices. They are the Sigma CR150 High-Flex Knee System and Sigma RP-F Knee System. Side effects resulting from a knee replacement surgery may be an indication of a more serious health problem.

Some side effects from knee replacement surgery:

  • Loosening or instability of implant
  • Change in position of device components
  • Tibial subsidence (when an implant sinks into the soft bone tissue of the tibia)
  • Bends, breaks, or other deformities of the implant
  • Infection

DePuy Revision Surgery

Several patients have required additional surgery to correct the problems from their original DePuy implant device. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against DePuy as a result of these injuries. A study from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales showed that 12 percent of ASR resurfacing device patients and 13 percent of ASR total hip replacement patients had required a second hip replacement surgery. As a result of the study, DePuy issued a recall in 2010. The recall covered all ASR hip systems that were sold since 2003.

View Sources

  1. “Joint Revision Surgery – When Do I Need It?.” American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2013. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00510
  2. Meier, Barry. “Maker Aware of 40% Failure in Hip Implant.” New York Times. N.p., 22 Jan 2013. Web. 17 May 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/business/jj-study-suggested-hip-device-could-fail-in-thousands-more.html
  3. Meier, Barry. “With Warning, a Hip Device Is Withdrawn.”New York Times. N.p., 09 Mar 2010. Web. 17 May 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/business/10device.html?_r=0
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