Jennifer, age 63, was driving her late model Nissan Altima in the middle lane on Route 280 East in West Orange in February 2006. Suddenly, without warning, a blue car swerved into Jennifer’s lane of travel, cut off her car, and exited route 280. Jennifer turned her wheel hard to the left to avoid the blue car, but collided with a red car.
Jennifer was knocked unconscious by the crash, and woke up some time later in Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J. Her orthopedic surgeon was standing by her bedside.
Jennifer, your hip was badly injured, and you’ll need a hip replacement. I’ve scheduled surgery for tomorrow morning.”
Dr. Smith performed hip replacement surgery the next day and used a metal-0n-metal Depuy hip replacement system.
Fast forward five years from the accident. Jennifer calls Dr. Smith on the telephone.
My hip is killing me. What’s wrong?
Metal-on-Metal hip replacement systems
On March 3, 2010, the NY Times reported:
About a decade ago, just as a new generation of metal-on-metal artificial hips were starting to be used, some studies noted their potential to produce high levels of metallic ions, causing what were thought to be allergic reactionsin some patients. But in the last two years, broader concerns have emerged amid research reports that the metal debris can ignite severe inflammatory reactions that can damage or destroy muscles, tendons and other soft tissue.
In 2008, for example, researchers at Oxford University in England reported that at least 17 women, all of whom had undergone hip resurfacing with all-metal devices from a variety of producers, experienced abnormal soft-tissue masses in their hip joints.”
Here’s a terrific video explaining why metal-on-metal hip replacement or resurfacing devices can cause health issues.
Here is a timeline containing the results of various studies on metal-to-metal hip replacement devices
Depuy ASR Hip Replacement Device recall
The NY Times reported:
A unit of Johnson & Johnson, just months after saying it was phasing out an artificial hip implant because of slowing sales, has warned doctors that the device appears to have a high early failure rate in some patients.
The action by the company, DePuy Orthopaedics, follows more than two years of reports that the hip implant, which is known as the ASR, was failing in patients only a few years after implant, requiring costly and painful replacement operations.
Some orthopedic experts have voiced dismay in recent interviews that DePuy had not halted sales of the device earlier. And some specialists said that they believed the device had a design flaw that made it difficult to implant properly, a claim disputed by DePuy officials, who had said the product had no safety problems. The director of an implant database in Australia, Dr. Stephen Graves, said the data had shown for some time that the ASR had been failing early at a significantly higher rate than some competitors’ devices. In December, DePuy voluntarily withdrew the ASR from the Australian market.”
Gobs of money trumps transparency. I urge patients who are considering hip replacement surgery to have the courage to ask their orthopedic surgeons the “tough questions.” For example, Why do you recommend this type of hip replacement device? Do you receive money from the manufacturer of the device? Does the hospital receive money from the manufacturer to insist that surgeons use certain devices? And, most importantly, what are the risks of this type of surgery?”
Does gobs of money trump integrity? You may wish to have the conversation with a NJ medical malpractice lawyer.
Javerbaum, Wurgaft, and more names-super lawyers!