ASR stands for "articular surface replacement" and refers to devices used in common hip replacement surgery. An ASR replaces faulty hip joints where the legs connect to the pelvis, allowing patients more mobility and freedom of movement, as well as often relieving the severe pain of degenerative arthritis or fractures in the hip area. Depuy, one of the manufacturers of ASR devices, has been forced to recall many of their ASRs due to high failure levels and other dangerous side effects. The August, 2010, Depuy recall reportedly affected over 90,000 recipients of the company’s ASR devices.
One of the biggest reasons for the recall of Depuy ASRs was the high failure rate. As many as one in eight patients who received a Depuy ASR device during hip replacement surgery required a second surgery to fix problems with the device. Given the high number of older people requiring hip replacement surgery, these numbers are frightening when the statistics of post-surgery medical problems are factored in. More surgeries simply mean more risk for unsuspecting patients beyond the obvious inconvenience, pain, and expense of these procedures.
The Depuy ASR hip replacements have also been tied to other side effects. Patients have reported a high incidence of inflammation due to autoimmune responses from the product. The Depuy ASR is a metal-on-metal hip replacement device, and there have been reports of metal shards working loose and traveling into the hip bone and surrounding muscles and tissues. This can lead to severe complications including infection, loss of mobility, and pain.
Observers and researchers have concluded that one possible reason for this problem is that the materials used in the Depuy ASR hip replacement device do not bond with the hip bone as intended. In these cases, the metal may be compromised and eventually shred due to constant friction with the hip bone. ASR devices can cause the hip to suddenly slip out of place, resulting in dangerous falls and the necessity for further medical treatment. The poorly-working hip joint can also cause excruciating pain and loss of use of the leg, the very symptoms the hip replacement was designed to treat.
Several lawsuits have already been filed against Depuy for the ASR hip replacement devices known to be linked to these side effects. Some of these suits by individuals are already under consideration in the courts; others may be filed as a class action, which means that many defendants band together to concentrate litigation efforts under one group of attorneys.
However, the first step in filing a Depuy hip replacement lawsuit is contacting a professional personal injury lawyer, no matter how your case winds up being filed. A personal injury attorney can give you the facts regarding the Depuy hip replacement lawsuits and can evaluate your case to determine if you have reason to seek damages from the company. A good personal injury attorney will never charge you for a consultation so you can meet with your attorney without risk and find out if you have a case against Depuy for your hip replacement malfunctions or side effects. You may be entitled to damages including medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs.