Product News and Recalls

Surgeon testifies on hip implant injuries

An orthopedic surgeon testifying at a trial over Johnson & Johnson’s ASR hip implants described tissue colored black with metal debris around the hip joint as the “signature injury” of the devices.

According to a story in the Newark Star Ledger, Dr. Craig Swenson of La Jolla, Calif., refers to the blackened tissue around the artificial hip joints as the “black hole.”

The trial in Los Angeles is the first of 10,000 cases to go to trial concerning the implants, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics. Studies have shown that nearly half of the implants from that particular model fail within six years.

Swenson said that he began using them in 2006, after concluding the model – which has both a ball and a socket coated in metal – would last longer than models incorporating plastic and ceramic.

Of the more than 200 ASR hips he implanted from 2006 to 2010, Swenson testified, over 38 percent failed.

Swenson said he’d told patients that 90 percent of implants last 15 years and 80 percent last 20 years.

He’s quoted as saying: “The goal is to have one operation. The second operation is harder than the first operation, so you’d like to get it right the first time.”

When asked how the DePuy devices compared to other models, Swenson said: “It’s not even close to what we were using before. I don’t think this is an acceptable failure rate. It’s a higher failure rate than any product I’ve ever used.”

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a DePuy hip implant. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a DePuy hip lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

See the story here: