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Montana man awarded $8.3 million in first of 10,000+ DePuy metal hip implant lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics designed a flawed metal-on-metal hip replacement system and owes a retired prison guard from Montana $8.3 million in compensatory damages, a California jury decided in the first of more than 10,000 lawsuits regarding the devices to stand trial. Loren “Bill” Kransky sued DePuy arguing that the company failed to adequately test the device before marketing it in the United States. His lawsuit also claims the company covered up surgeon complaints of failures and considered redesigning the ASR model before ultimately deciding to stop making it in 2008. Johnson & Johnson recalled 93,000 DePuy ASR ... Read More

Testimony: Johnson and Johnson ignored warnings that DePuy hip implant was defective

A doctor working as a consultant for Johnson & Johnson warned company executives in 2008 that the ASR hip replacement system made by J&J subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics was poorly designed and suggested the company slow its marketing of the device until it discovered why the hip implant was hurting so many patients. The warning fell on deaf ears. It wasn’t until two years later, after several other doctor-consultants for the company pressed the issue with J&J that the consumer health care products giant issued a recall of the ASR artificial hip. In that time, literally thousands of patients worldwide underwent ... Read More

Patients with metal hips should be checked by doctor annually

People who have received metal-on-metal hip replacement systems should be checked by a doctor every year for as long as they have the implant to ensure the implant isn’t failing or poisoning their blood, says the UK regulator of medical devices. Metal-on-metal hip implants were introduced a decade ago as a more durable artificial hip. Traditional hip implants are made with plastic or ceramic parts, but several manufacturers began offering all-metal versions. The design turned out to be a major flaw. Most hip implants can last 20 years or more, but the newer metal-on-metal devices were beginning to fail at a ... Read More

FDA panel says there are few reasons doctors should use metal hips

Medical device experts found few reasons why all-metal artificial hips should remain an option for patients based on growing evidence that the metal-on-metal hip implants can fail prematurely and expose patients to dangerous metals. The expert panel was charged by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to recommend guidelines for the metal medical devices. The agency does not always follow the advice of its advisory panels, but it usually does. Hip implants are traditionally made with ceramic or plastic parts, but newer models have been made with all metal parts. The design was meant to be more durable and allow ... Read More

Health Canada issues advice for doctors who see patients with metal artificial hips

Canada’s drug regulator is advising doctors on how to manage patients who have received metal-on-metal artificial hips, and alerting patients who have received the implants to be on the lookout for signs of failure. Health Canada’s announcement comes after much scrutiny over so-called metal-on-metal hip implants. Traditional hip replacements are made with ceramic or plastic parts, but newer ones have been designed with all metal parts in an attempted to stand up better over time. However, reports show the devices have been failing at a higher than expected rate after just five or less years. Hip implant failures usually involve ... Read More

New coating could help prevent premature failure of artificial hips

A new coating for artificial hips developed by chemical engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could prevent hip implants from failing prematurely, and save elderly patients from dangerous complications caused by repeat surgeries. The new product is a thin coating that induces the body’s own cells to produce bone that fixes the implant in place. The coating is designed to replace bone cement, a polymer that resembles glass when hardened. This cement in some cases can crack and cause the implant to detach from the bone, which can result in pain and impaired mobility for the patient. The new coating ... Read More

FDA advisory panel to review safety of metal-on-metal hip implants

The safety of metal-on-metal artificial hips will be investigated by a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expert panel this June, according to a press releases issued by the agency. The hip implants have come under scrutiny over the past few years after mounting complaints from patients and studies that show the devices are prone to premature failure and can poison patients as they wear over time. FDA expert panels are assigned to review drugs and medical devices and make recommendations on corrective steps, whether it is to order stronger warnings about a product or ban it from the market. The ... Read More

Study looks at cancer risk with metal-on-metal hip implants

British researchers say there is no evidence that people with metal-on-metal artificial hips are more likely to develop cancer than people with other hip implants, or those without the devices. However, some doctors remain skeptical about the long-term risks. Metal-on-metal hip implants are a newer generation of artificial hip designed to be more durable than traditional plastic or ceramic ones. The devices became popular over the past decade, with hundreds of thousands of people using them. But data soon revealed that the all-metal implants were failing at a higher than expected rate – much faster than traditional implants. What doctors ... Read More

New study advises surgeons, patients avoid all-metal hip implants

A new study funded by the National Joint Registry of England and Wales and published this month in the British medical journal The Lancet calls on surgeons to stop using metal-on-metal hip implants completely, saying that evidence shows patients who receive the implants are much more likely to need revision surgery to have the implants repaired or replaced. The study’s authors analyzed data from the National Joint Registry of more than 400,000 hip replacements made from 2003 to 2011. While the vast majority of those surgeries involved traditional implants made of plastic or ceramic, more than 31,000 patients received metal-on-metal ... Read More

Another victim of recalled DePuy hip implant speaks out

Terri Wagner-Morley’s artificial hip seemed like an answered prayer. In just one year, she regained mobility lost from chronic arthritis, and was able to exercise again. She shed more than 50 pounds and was enjoying life again. “It felt great,” she told the Star Tribune. But shortly thereafter problems began to surface. It started with a popping sensation in her right hip, then came the pain. Soon, Terri wasn’t moving around like she had been. The exercising stopped, and the weight came back. Terri’s artificial hip failed. She needed surgery to remove the defective device. An infection set in, which ... Read More