Johnson & Johnson is recalling thousands more metal-on-metal hip replacement systems because of early failures. The recall comes 2 ½ years after the company recalled the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system and hip resurfacing system for similar problems, an event that brought to light serious flaws with all-metal hip implants.
Most artificial hips are made with plastic or ceramic parts. During the past decade, some medical device companies began using all-metal parts. It turned out to be a grievous design flaw. The metal parts were prone to corroding inside the body, leading to early failure of the devices, but also inflaming the tissue surrounding the implant and leeching metal ions into the bloodstream, potentially causing a type of blood poisoning known as metallosis.
The latest recall involves 7,500 Adept implants shipped to 21 countries – not including the U.S. – between 2004 and September 2011. The recall only affects the ball at the top of the thigh bone that fits into the hip’s socket. Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics bought the rights to the Adept business in 2009.
Johnson & Johnson, the largest provider of health care products in the world, has issued more than 30 product recalls since 2009, from medical devices to over-the-counter medicines. The company is also facing numerous lawsuits over the recalls, including thousands from people who say they were injured by the DePuy metal-on-metal hip implant. The first DePuy implant trial is currently underway in Los Angeles.