Pharmaceutical

After 5 surgeries, woman files lawsuit against artificial hip maker

Jane Rogers had no choice but to have total hip replacement surgeries on both hips. Her hip joints were badly damaged because of osteoarthritis. But she should have never had to endure the three hip surgeries that followed soon after. Rogers’ artificial hips failed prematurely, leaving her in more pain and more disabled than she was before surgery. She is just one of more than 1,000 people who has filed a lawsuit against the makers of the defective hip replacement systems, DePuy Orthopaedics.

Nearly 100,000 people worldwide are affected by the DePuy artificial hip recall. More than a third of those surgeries were performed in the United States. The lawsuits claim that DePuy was aware that its metal-on-metal device was failing at an usually high rate yet it continued to market the implant to doctors and patients.

In patients like Rogers, the devices were dislocating, loosening or even fracturing the bones they were attached to. In some patients, the rubbing together of metal parts left bits of debris in the flesh that leached into the bloodstream and caused a type of blood poisoning known as metallosis. This condition not only eats away at the surrounding bone and tissue, it can cause problems in other parts of the body, including the heart, nervous system and thyroid gland.

Rogers has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in surgeries and therapy trying to right the wrong caused by her defective hip implants. Only time will tell if the blood poisoning will cause her more problems in the future. DePuy had offered to cover the cost of her revision surgeries, but Rogers, like many patients who received the faulty DePuy implants, says she wants justice.