Metallosis is a rapidly occurring problem and is arising in patients who have had hip replacements utilizing metal on metal heads and cups. One of the most common hip implants causing metallosis is the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System and DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System that was the subject of a nationwide recall in August of 2010.
According to the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, metallosis is aseptic fibrosis, local necrosis or loosening of a device secondary to metallic corrosion and release of wear debris. Recent reports have found metallosis as a factor in the failure of nine total hip replacements where they were made of titanium-based alloy and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. The study shows “the metallosis was secondary to wear and fretting of the metallic femoral components.”
Other findings in this study included that the origin of pain in total joint replacements is obscure. However, in some patients, a substantial amount of wear debris was present in the tissues surrounding the prosthesis.
“Thus, the pain may be related to aspects of the well known cellular response to particulate material, with or without specific cell-mediated hypersensitivity to metal.”
However, the study continues on to say that in their patients, immune hypersensitivity must be ruled out because titanium, aluminum, and vanadium are not recognized as either whole antigens or haptens. The wear debris from titanium-based alloy alone can produce pain. Additionally, studies suggest that titanium-based alloy is highly susceptible to wear under some conditions.
A final conclusion to Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery’s study was that from a total joint prosthesis, wear debris can have an interface between titanium alloy and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene produce clinical symptoms that revision surgery was necessary three years after the first joint surgery.
This information is so important because in August of this year, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, recalled two versions of the company’s ASR model artificial hip implant. Patients have been complaining for several years now regarding these hip implants. They were having pain, swelling, and problems walking after several months of recovery from hip surgery. Beginning in 2008, FDA received about 400 complaints from patients in the United States who received the DePuy ASR devices. The ASR devices first came under scrutiny over the last few years because the devices were part of a category of implants called metal-on-metal bearings. These bearings can generate debris from wear, causing inflammation and damage for certain patients.
The DePuy ASR recall has caused many plaintiffs to petitions for consolidation of these cases a Multi-District Litigation. The DePuy MDL 2197 is under consideration by the MDL Panel now and is expected to be formed later this month. The DePuy MDL consolidation should be a step in the right direction of helping the 1000s of consumers who have suffered from the detrimental effects of the defective DePuy ASR line of total hip implants.
Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC continues to investigate and review the claims of those nationwide who received a DePuy hip implant device since July of 2003. If you or a loved one has received the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System or DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System and have experienced some type of hip pain, developed metallosis additional hip surgery, or some any of failure with your hip replacement, you may want to contact CSS Firm for a free case evaluation and consultation. Our experienced team of hip implant lawyers will work closely with you and see to it that you get the medical treatment you need and receive adequate compensation for your injuries.