Pharmaceutical

Problems with DePuy artificial hip implants first reported to FDA in 2008

It’s difficult to know when problems first arose with DePuy Orthopaedics artificial hips because there is no registry in the United States for hip replacement systems. The implants were introduced in the mid 2000s and were recalled last August following reports that the devices were failing at an unusually high rate in just five years or less. That data didn’t initially come from the United States, but from artificial joint registry systems in other countries, such as Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden.

While the overseas registries were identifying problems with the Depuy devices, the first problems with the DePuy implants were reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008. Problems with the implants included dislocation, loosening and fracture and in many cases resulted in patients needing revision surgery to have the devices replaced.

Even as problem reports were increasing, DePuy continued to market the metal-on-metal devices to doctors and patients. It wasn’t until August 2010 that DePuy, under pressure of the device’s poor track record, issued a recall of the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System. Nearly 100,000 people are affected by the recall.

It is hard to know how many people are suffering with the defective devices. Most patients don’t even know what brand or type of artificial hip they have. And because there is no joint registry system in the United States, most recipients of the recalled devices aren’t even aware there are problems with their artificial hips.

Patients with artificial hips who are experiencing persistent pain and limited mobility are urged to see their doctors and find out if their device has been recalled due to serious defects.