Pharmaceutical

Warn friends, family about artificial hip recall

An estimated 93 million people worldwide have artificial hips manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, and an alarming number of them may not know that their hip implant has been recalled due to defects that have left patients with intense pain and disability. Because of this, consumers who have heard of the recall are being urged to tell their friends and family members.

Pain and mobility issues are common immediately after hip replacement surgery, but when the pain lingers or returns months or years after surgery, it could be a sign that something with the hip implant has gone seriously wrong. The implants have been found to come loose from the bone where it was attached, fracture the bones they are attached to, and dislocate completely.

In some cases, where the metal-on-metal implant rubs together, a condition known as metallosis occurs. Metallosis is also known as metal poisoning and can cause inflammation and a host of other health problems. In many cases, a second hip replacement surgery is required to remove the defective implant and replace it with a new one.

Last August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered a recall of hip replacement parts made by DePuy. Patients should receive letters from their doctors or from the hospital where their surgeries were performed. If patients do not know if they have one of the recalled devices, they should contact the doctor or the hospital where the surgery was performed.

Family members and friends of people who have artificial hips should also warn of so-called watchdog groups claiming to establish a registry of hip implant patients. The federal government in partnership with hospitals is working to establish the database, and outside groups claiming to do so may not have the best interest of the patient in mind.