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Canada issues new alert for metal hip patients and their doctors

Canadian regulators have issued a new alert for patients who have been implanted with metal-on-metal hip devices, advising them to watch for certain signs that could indicate the implants are failing. Prompted by growing concerns over the safety of hip implant devices made of all-metal components, Health Canada says that patients who have received such implants should “be on the lookout for pain the groin, hip or leg, swelling at or near the hip joint, or onset of a limp or change in walking ability or limited range of motion,” according to The Canadian Press. Much of the concern about ... Read More

UK regulators issue warning about DePuy’s MITCH TRH all-metal hip implants

The United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a safety warning for MITCH TRH acetabular cups and MITCH TRH modular heads – a metal-on-metal hip implant system manufactured by U.K.-based Finsbury Orthopaedics, a division of DePuy Orthopaedics. Both companies are owned by healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson. The MITCH TRH System is a metal-on-metal hip replacement system consisting of components that can be used in different combinations to carry out either hip resurfacing arthroplasty or total hip replacement. In the new Medical Device Alert, MHRA regulators warn that a higher-than-expected number of DePUY MITCH hip devices ... Read More

Some DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuits heading to trial this year

The first lawsuits filed against health care giant Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics by plaintiffs alleging injuries caused by DePuy’s metal-on-metal ASR hip devices will go to court this year. About 4,200 lawsuits have been filed against the companies in federal court, with another 2,000 filed in state courts. The first state lawsuits are slated to go to trial in Las Vegas, Nevada, in mid-December 2012, with another trial scheduled for January 2012 in a Maryland state court. Federal lawsuits, which will be tried in U.S. District Court in West Virginia, will probably be heard in March ... Read More

New Zealanders who say they were injured by DePuy hip implants find hope in UK litigation

A group of New Zealanders allegedly harmed by metal-on-metal hip implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics is joining an international lawsuit against the company. According to Farifax NZ News, about 30 New Zealanders learned they were eligible to sue DePuy under English law and are currently working with a barrister (lawyer) in the U.K. to file their claims in the British court. Their eligibility comes as good news to all 507 New Zealanders who have been implanted with one of DePuy’s recalled ASR (articular surface replacement) hip devices, which have been implanted in about 93,000 patients worldwide. The plaintiffs are not ... Read More

DePuy hip implant leads to renewed pain, hardship for Minnesota woman

Terri, a mother of twin college-age daughters and a grown son, told the Minnesota StarTribune that the DePuy ASR artificial hip she received in 2008 to counter the chronic arthritis in her right hip gave her a new lease on life. As she recovered from replacement surgery, the pain subsided and her mobility improved dramatically. The increased activity allowed Terri to shed excess weight, and she went from 219 pounds to 165 in just a year. But in late 2009, her right hip popped, the pain came back, and all her progress stopped. In fact, she found herself sliding backward ... Read More

BBC investigation exposes dire threat posed by all-metal hip implants

A joint investigation led by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found that DePuy Orthopaedics and other manufacturers of all-metal hip implants may have known about the serious risks these devices have posed for years but failed to remove them from the market. The investigative report comes as Great Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a new advisory to nearly 50,000 all-metal hip implant recipients in the U.K., urging them to undergo annual tests to check for possible complications arising from the risky devices. The advisory replaces a previous recommendation that ... Read More

New study may spell trouble for all-metal hip implants and their makers

When orthopedic device manufacturers conceived all-metal hip implants a decade ago, their intention was to provide patients with a more durable and longer lasting alternative to traditional devices, which incorporate plastic or ceramic components. But according to a new report published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal, that plan appears to have backfired. According to Reuters, the new report’s findings “could hurt orthopedic companies that make the devices and accelerate lawsuits.” Instead of less pain and greater mobility, many recipients of all-metal hip devices, including the ASR implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics and recalled last year, experience acute pain and ... Read More

Metal-on-metal hip devices lose support within the medical community

Metal-on-metal hip implants have lost key support within the medical community after the California Technology Assessment Forum reversed the position it had adopted a year earlier supporting the hip resurfacing technique, a hip replacement option that uses metal-on-metal hip devices. The CTAF report was based on data from joint registries in England and Australia that found extremely high premature failure rates for some hip implant devices, such as DePuy’s all-metal ASR Hip Resurfacing System and ASR XL Acetabular system. The hip resurfacing technique is offered as an alternative to traditional total hip replacement. The procedure consists of fitting the head ... Read More

Alabama couple sues DePuy over hip implant injuries

An Alabama couple has filed a lawsuit against DePuy Orthopaedics and parent company Johnson & Johnson, seeking damages for injuries, they allege, were caused by faulty ASR hip implants. According to Georgia’s Rome News-Tribune, a Gaylesville, Ala., couple filed the lawsuit in a federal court in Rome, Ga., after one of them began to experience severe injuries and pain. As in many other lawsuits brought against DePuy over the faulty ASR hip implants, the couple claim that the ASR device failed after just a couple of years when it should have lasted at least 15. DePuy recalled its ASR XL ... Read More

DePuy hip implant patient tests positive for heavy metal toxicity, but says she feels fine

Australia’s Blacktown Sun has profiled another patient Down Under who received one of DePuy’s recalled ASR hip implants, but her story doesn’t exactly match the experience of many others whose struggles with the faulty medical devices have grabbed headlines around the world. The patient, a resident of New South Wales, told the Blacktown Sun that she had her DePuy hip device implanted in 2006, but has not experienced any outward physical reactions or health problems. She found out that her DePuy hip implant was potentially problematic only after her doctor informed her that the device was part of a global ... Read More