Graphite for Safer Design of Hip Implants

January 6, 2012
The use of graphite compound maybe helpful in designing safer hip replacement devices, medical research says.  Graphite, which comes in flakes, originates comes from nature-grade, carbon-rich metamorphic rock. The use of graphite was based on a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health that was published in the medical journal, Science.
 
“Graphite has been used as a lubricant for over a century. It is a classic lubricant, and it appears to form naturally,” says Northwestern University professor of materials and engineering, Laurence Marks, in a Reuters report.
 
Artificial joint manufacturers could use this knowledge to design better metal-on-metal hip replacements that are less likely to grind and shed metal ions by exploiting the spontaneously forming graphite, reports Reuters.
 
“Now that we have a handle on how they are working and why they are working well, we can start to design them to make them better,” Marks adds.
 
 
Issue of Recalled Hip Implants of Johnson’s & Johnson

As for Johnson & Johnson in particular, after information was out saying that the devices have defects in one out of eight clients, the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System were withdrawn. These devices were manufactured in 2003 by DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., a subsidiary company of Johnson & Johnson.

 “Many people could have avoided considerable pain, suffering and diminished quality of life if the company had acted in a responsible manner to known problems with these devices,” based on a statement of the Australian Senate.

Included in the list of the complications that may likely result from DePuy hip implants are loosening of hip device, additional hip replacement surgery, detachment of hip device from the bone, unexplained hip pain, hip dislocation, metal toxicity (metallosis), pseudotumors, genetic damage (genotoxicty), bone fractures, bone loss, tissue damages and cancer due to the presence of chromium and cobalt in the blood.
 
Increasing Number of Lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson

Around 3,500 DePuy hip replacement lawsuits have been pursued by affected patients against Johnson & Johnson. They were the suffering victims of DePuy product failures and defects, among them displacements, fractures and loosening.

References:
•         usrecallnews.com/2010/09/depuy-hip-replacement-recalled-asr-artificial-hip-systems.html
•         nytimes.com/2010/08/27/business/27hip.html
•         tga.gov.au/newsroom/btn-dupuy-recall.htm
 

Another Court Charges Filed due to Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement

December 20, 2011
A manufacturing company has once again been charged with lawsuits because of defective metal-on-metal hip replacement. On December 16, 2011, complainants filed a motion with the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) to fuse all court cases against Wright Medical Technology, Inc.
 
An article about the risks of metal-on-metal hip replacement surgeries was earlier published on the New York Times. The article entitled “Remedy Is Elusive as Metallic Hips Fail at Fast Rate,” presents how the hip operation injures the tissue in the hip area.

Medical specialists say that eventually, patients may encounter metallosis, implant failure, bone loss, tissue damage and other hip surgery problems.
 
One doctor commented to the Times that “As surgeons here sliced through tissue surrounding a failed artificial hip in a 53-year-old man, they discovered what looked like a biological dead zone. There were matted strands of tissue stained gray and black; a large strip of muscle near the hip no longer contracted.”
 
 
Hip Replacement Issues to be Addressed by Depuy

Legal experts report that numerous patients have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson.  They were the suffering victims of DePuy product failures and defects, among them displacements, fractures and loosening. The signs of artificial hip device defect include:
 
· Pain when rising from a seated position
· Pain on the thigh or groin area
· Pain bearing weight
· Pain on the hip area
· Pain while walking
· Swelling
 
It extreme cases, these hip devices may completely fail, resulting in more severe health complication. This occur when:
 
· the unit is dislocated and misaligned; 
· the bone around the implant is fractured; and
· the device is not attached to the bone correctly.
 
Additionally, the malfunctioning hip devices may create an accumulation of toxic metal into the patient’s bloodstream. The body tissues may also form pseudotumors.
 

Delaying Hip Replacement Surgery Through Exercise

Released in April 2011, this study revealed that exercise can actually delay and even prevent hip replacement surgeries. This study was funded by the Norwegian Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation, the Norwegian Rheumatism Association, and the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority.

Researcher Dr. Linda Fernandes said that "if you exercise early" in the course of the disease, "maybe you can prevent surgery long-term." Dr. Fernandes is a physiotherapist at Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo.

Those who encounter any doubts and queries about their hip replacement surgery should see a physician as soon as possible.

Similar to the earlier mentioned litigation against Wright Medical Technology, there have been several DePuy lawsuit pursued by the patients affected by metal-on-metal hip device. The affected patients of DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. should seek legal advice regarding potential compensation from the company.

References:
· bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-03/johnson-johnson-sued-over-recalled-implanted-hip-replacement-devices.html
· arthritistoday.org/news/asr-depuy-hip-replacement-recall078.php
· nursinghomesabuseblog.com/defective-products/defects-with-depuy-hip-replacement-hardware-may-be-responsible-for-complications-following-hip-surgury/
· clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01338532
· internalmedicinenews.com/news/rheumatology-immunology/single-article/rigorous-exercise-may-delay-hip-replacement/e680cecb64.html
· orthopedics.about.com/od/arthritis/p/exercise.htm
 

DePuy’s Credibility Gets Boost from "Anatomy of Movement Experience"

November 11, 2011
Johnson & Johnson has come up with a one-of-a-kind touring exhibit entitled the “Anatomy of Movement Experience” to regain the trust of its customers following the devastating Depuy hip replacement recall. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc.’s 2010 recall of its Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip systems may have been just one of the lists of consumer-drug recalls, however, it created the most impact with 93,000 patients having used the product. A status conference had been called for the DePuy hip replacement lawsuit this month, a progress for the many lawsuits that have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) under Judge David A. Katz of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.  
 
The exhibit is aimed at educating visitors by demonstrating hip and knee joint conditions and treatment options. The exhibit with its display of oversized hip and knee offers interaction with hip and knee joint models, a conversation with experts about hip and knee pain, a self assessment quiz to help start a conversation with a doctor about treatment options and speaking with patients whose daily lives have been improved by joint replacement.    
 
One of the famous personalities who will be talking in the exhibit is Hollywood actress Jane Kaczmarek, who is best known for her role as the hilarious, outspoken mother of a dysfunctional family in the 20th Century Fox Television comedy series “Malcolm in the Middle”.  A testament to her acting skills, no one ever noticed that Kaczmarek had been suffering from severe hip pain as a result of osteoporosis.  She is one of DePuy Orthopaedics’ partners in its launching of the Osteoarthritis Awareness and Education Program last September.
 
The Anatomy of Movement Experience is continuing its nationwide tour and had already visited Boston, Massachusetts; Long Beach, California; Los Angeles, California and Orlando, Florida.  Johnson & Johnson is continuing to overhaul its quality control and manufacturing processes. To fix its now-tattered reputation for high-quality products, its CEO William Weldon said the company has some ground to make up with consumers. It remains to be seen, how much this exhibit could restore Johnson & Johnson’s credibility among its customers.
 
Despite the ASR hip replacement recall, damage had already been done with 93,000 people worldwide having received the DePuy hip implants. The number of lawsuits filed increased with some patients claiming that DePuy had known about the dangers but chose to keep it from the public.    
 
 
References:
depuy.com/dtp/pr/anatomyofmovementexperience
cbs.com/daytime/the_talk/blog/?id=65993
fiercepharma.com/story/jj-adds-exprex-anemia-drug-recall-tally/2011-09-26
 
 

The Known Risks And Complications Of A Hip Replacement Procedure

July 22, 2011
A hip replacement surgery is indicated for severe cases of joint failure caused by debilitating bone disease such as osteoarthritis. Also known as hip arthroplasty, this is an invasive surgical procedure implemented to replace irreversibly damaged hip joints with an artificial hip implant distinctly chosen to suit the case of the patient. One of the pharmaceutical companies known to manufacture hip replacement devices is DePuy Orthopaedics but a recall was issued for the alleged defective metal-on-metal ASR XL Acetabular Hip System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System. Earlier than this incident, a recall was also ordered for Stryker Corp.'s ceramic hip replacement products which were known as Stryker Acetebular Cup and Stryker Hemispherical Cup.

Although a hip replacement surgery has been found to be quite effective there are some risks and complications involved and these are:

  • Dislocation
For a hip replacement surgical wound to fully heal, it usually takes eight to twelve weeks. It is during this period where the risk for dislocation of the hip implant is high since the femoral ball could easily be dislodged due to accidents or strain to the affected site. Due to this, dislocation is the most common complication of a hip arthroplasty.
  • Osteolysis
Hip implants can get loosened as time goes by due to the wearing tendency of the surrounding bone area and this process is called osteolysis. An osteolysis can occur as time passes on when debris from the hip device's polyethylene, the material used in ceramic ones similar to Stryker's hip implants, accumulates and causes an inflammatory reaction which ultimately leads to bone resorption.
  • Metal Sensitivity/Metal Toxicity
Metal sensitivity occurs about 10-15% of the population and in worst case scenarios, it could lead to metal toxicity.
  • Nerve Palsy
This is a disorder of the nerves which can be a result of unwanted damage to the specific nerve. In a hip arthroplasty, femoral nerve palsy is a rare occurrence and the likelihood to acquire this complication is low.
  • Chronic Pain
Another complication of hip replacement surgery is chronic pain. This can be secondary to other complications of the operation such as bursitis or improper placement of the hip implant. During the cold seasons or cold weather, the hip joint may be painful for some recipients of this device.
  • Uneven Length of Lower Limbs
Some recipients report they had uneven leg length after the surgery. But it could be a psychological reaction to the operation, some experts believe. But, there were cases where they actually had unequal length of the lower limbs after the surgery probably due to incompatible size of the artificial femoral head.
  • Death
This is the least known complication though.

If you feel that the issuance of a DePuy hip replacement recall was not enough to compensate for the damages you experienced due to the defective hip implants, you can actually raise you case with the help of an adept hip replacement lawyer.~For those who suffered from defective metal-on-metal DePuy hip implants, there was a DePuy hip replacement recall issued and you can actually try to contact a DePuy hip replacement lawyer and have your case moving. For more information about, visit related sites available.

 

ASR Hip Implants May Cause Blood Toxicity to Its Recipients

June 10, 2011
If you have one of the recipients of the 93,000 defective ASR hip implants that were recalled last year, you might be in danger of poisoning your own blood. Not only was this device causing a multitude of hip problems, but this implant may also cause more silent health problems by increasing the levels of metallic particles in the blood that bring serious side effects. ASR hip implant is made of Chromium and Cobalt ions and as its components rub against each other, bits of these metallic ions are scraped off which may eventually flow through the bloodstream. Recently parties are ordered to file complaints for the ongoing DePuy Multidistrict Litigation about the damages the product has brought to the plaintiffs.

What Cobalt Poisoning Does to the Body

A doctor recently published a case study on two patients with ASR Hip Implants and it was revealed that both of these recipients have cobal t levels 100 to 500 times beyond normal range. Normally, there should only be 1 microgram of cobalt in a liter of blood, 5 micrograms or more is already toxic and may cause serious side effects to the organs it infiltrates. Cobalt poisoning (cobaltism) can cause impairment of the senses like tinnitus (ringing sensation in the ears), vertigo, deafness, blindness, optic nerve atrophy, convulsions, headaches, peripheral neuropathy, as well as cardiomyopathy, liver damage, hypothyroidism, and cognitive problems, including dementia. Cobalt poisoning has also been linked to some types of cancer.

What to Know About Chromium Toxicity

Chromium, just like cobalt, is an essential mineral found needed by the body in trace amounts to function normally. When levels of this mineral elevates excessively, however, due to the wearing down of the metal-on-metal device, the body may be at risk of serious health problems. People with chromium toxicity may exhibit cobalt poisoning symptoms like hearing loss, visual impairment, impaired level functions, including renal damage. Like cobalt, elevated levels of chromium may lead to an increased risk of cancer. Likewise, elevated chromium levels have been linked to cancer.

How To Combat Cobalt and Chromium Poisoning

For ASR hip replacement patients with high levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood, one method is the chelation therapy. In this process, a chelating agent-to which ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is the most common- is administered to remove poisonous substances from the body. It is advised that you ask your doctor for more options.

If you have been harmed as a result of the ASR hip replacement system, you rightfully deserve compensation. Act now since there is a deadline to filing a claim. You can visit the Hip replacement recall information center for free consultation.
 

Lesser Incidents Like DePuy Hip Recall Anticipated With Initiation Of U.S. Joint Registry

May 18, 2011
A tide of indignation arose when DePuy Orthopaedics voluntarily recalled their ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System especially when evidence revealed they failed to issue the recall as soon as was necessary. Lawsuits filed against the orthopedic manufacturer gave allegations of DePuy having prior knowledge of data stating there were problems with the ASR devices but did not withdraw the units until several months after. The company is even in turmoil since J&J shareholders decided to sue over a Depuy bribery scandal a few years ago.

These claims are based on a number of facts. Prior to the recall in as early as 2008, the U.S Food and Drugs Administration has received hundreds of complaints against the ASR hip devices. Professor Stephen Graves, the director of the Australian National Joint Replacement Registry, notified DePuy of the ASR failure rate that was first noticed in 2007. At Professor Graves' and the Registry's urging, DePuy issued a recall on the hip replacement devices from the Australian market, practically a year before they declared the worldwide hip recall.

Although the bulk of the blame rests on DePuy, experts believe that had a similar joint registry been present in the U.S., problems with the ASR hip replacement units would have been detected early. It would then strongly compel DePuy to recall the hip implants sooner.

For this reason, the American Joint Replacement Registry was created by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in the hope that revision surgeries will decrease in number in the next several years. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. William J. Maloney states, “The advantages of a registry are many. You can pool patients, provide contemporary information and do postmarket surveillance. It can lead to evidence-based practice, generate research questions and be, in and of itself, a research tool.”

The study by the National Joint Registry for England and Wales pushed DePuy to announce the ASR recall. Future similar incidents might diminish but current DePuy hip replacement victims still face the consequences the faulty ASR devices provided. Filing a DePuy ASR hip replacement lawsuit may be your only chance of making the company liable for the suffering and loss you had to needlessly endure.
 

The DePuy Recall Medical Disaster

April 11, 2011
Medical calamities and other medical products recall have been swarming on us lately. However, in the case of DePuy’s hip replacement recall, medical experts believe that it’s incomparable to recall and calamities happening on other medical products. Here is why. Medical disaster is how these medical experts explain the current situation DePuy is having.

One may think that calling the DePuy situation a disaster is a bit too much. But according to Dr. Norman Joyce from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, “It’s the biggest disaster in the history of orthopedics. To think here we are in the 21st century, in 2011, that we have such major failures. This has major implications around the world.” With this, it might be quite appropriate to call this situation a disaster. Furthermore, these thoughts were already explained to the people affected of the DePuy hip replacement recall situation.

If we may recall some facts about the DePuy recall, we all know that it all started from its high failure rate which means a failure in terms of giving medical aid to the patient which is its primary role. Then, a lot of people had to undergo a very hard revision surgery. DePuy sold about 93, 000 units of this failing device and it was found out that around 49% of users are at risk of experiencing the failing of the device they are using.

If you are one of those people who have been affected by the sufferings that is brought about by this failing prosthetic device, never ever settle when the manufacturer offers you a direct compensation. They might be offered you less of what you deserve from this DePuy medical disaster. It is always best to call a lawyer.
 

A Brief Overview Of The DePuy Hip Replacement Recall

January 5, 2011

With the ongoing lawsuits being filed about the DePuy hip replacement recall, some may have wondered what exactly is the reason behind the litigation. Hundreds have taken legal action in the hopes of gaining compensation for what DePuy has subjected them to.

In the summer of 2010, Johnson & Johnson division, DePuy Orthopaedics, issued a voluntary recall of their hip replacement devices named ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System. Generally, the average artificial hip should last for 15 to 20 years depending on the recipient. However, the ASR devices were found out to only last for five years. Moreover, 1 in 8 recipients would need to undergo a revision surgery due to complications brought about by the defective implants.

When you have been impanted with one of the flawed ASRs, you would likely experience one or more of the following: pain, inflammation, rashes, difficulty walking, stiffness in the hip area, fracture, nerve palsy and metal poisoningor metallosis.

When you find that you have not felt any of the symptoms, it is still not an indication that you have not been affected. To make sure your hip replacement device is indeed and ASR and to determine whether it is failing or not, you should seek the professional opinion of your orthopedist. DePuy claims it will hand out compensation granted they can decide that your injuries are “reasonable and customary”. They have also given a statement that they think that your own insurer or even Medicare should pay for the medical costs relating to your hip injury.

The best course of action would be to speak with a competent lawyer experienced with product liabilty lawsuits to assist you in your goal to seek compensation from a company that was not careful enough to offer a safe product for their buyers. Should you wish to learn more about the DePuy hip replacement recall, their website is available for you to browse through. 

 

Courts Could Dismiss DePuy Lawsuits Filed Against Johnson & Johnson

December 21, 2010

When people update themselves on the status of the ongoing hip replacement lawsuits in blogs, forums and news briefs, parent company of DePuy Othopaedics, Johnson & Johnson is sure to be mentioned more than a few times. Individuals who have received either one of the defective ASR XL Acetabular Sytem and ASR Hip Resurfacing System find themselves seeking damages from both DePuy and Johnson & Johnson. But what most plaintiffs do not realize is that there is a huge probability of Johnson & Johnson acquiring a dismissal from these DePuy lawsuits in court.

If, for any reason, you have named both DePuy and Johnson & Johnson as companies responsible for the product recall, you are in no danger of being penalized for it. However, the court may hold DePuy more liable than J&J for a couple of reasons. This is where corporate law gets into action as opposed to mere product liability law.

A parent company such as Johnson & Johnson owns the majority of shares in its subsidiary, DePuy. This being the case, multiple powers are held by J&J over DePuy and it has the authority to execute tasks such as appointing board of directors, who are then responsible for selecting company officers like CEO's and CFO's.

One might wonder why they would go to such lengths in putting up a second or division company when they could integrate it in their system. However convenient that might be, what is more important to corporations such as J&J is that they can be protected under what is called limited liability.

Limited liability is where stockholders and partners cannot lose more than they contribute to the corporation or partnership. They will not be personally held liable for any debts or obligations of the subsidiary in the event that these are not met.

While Johnson & Johnson might do any means necessary to be able to get their cases dismissed from court, you still have the right to seek and recover damages from DePuy. If you file a DePuy hip lawsuit instead of neogtiating with them through their claims process, you might find yourself gaining greater possibilities of acquiring just compensation.  

 

Centralization Of DePuy Lawsuit Given To Ohio Judge

December 10, 2010

In previous news regarding the status of the ongoing lawsuits filed against DePuy Orthopaedics for manufacturing the defective ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System, a Multidistrict Litigation or MDL was proposed. A hearing was scheduled on November 18 of this year to hear five motions that petitions to consolidate the cases under one federal judge. The hearing took place in Durham, North Carolina.

During the hearing, the five plaintiffs, most of which were class action groups, and DePuy contradicted as to what federal district court the MDL should take place in. Some plaintiffs wanted the consolidation to occur in Chicago because that was were they lived. Others preferred New Orleans due to its geographic centrality, a number wanted to have it proceed in northern California where designers of the ASRs work. DePuy however, favors Warsaw, Indiana because that's where the company's headquarters is located.

Last week, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation finally decided to appoint the cases to the Northern District Court judge, Judge David A. Katz. The Panel expressed their support for the judge stating that Judge Katz is an experienced transferee judge.

The Panel also justified their decision in a couple of reasons saying that first, there were no current lawsuits coming from that location. Secondly, they expressed that, “Centralization…in the Northern District of Ohio will serve the convenience of parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation.” Third, “Centralization…will eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings on discovery and other issues, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary,” says the Panel. Consolidation of these cases aims to acquire efficient pretrial rulings and gain manageable access to discovery.

Information about the ongoing case against the orthopedic manufacturer is readily available at the DePuy hip replacement lawsuit site. If you are one of the recipients of the recalled ASR products, it is best to consult with a lawyer to discuss your legal options in recovering compensation for your losses.