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Did DePuy Hip Makers Know 40% of Hips Would Fail in Five Years?

Many Chicago area seniors have had hip implants in the last few years. Unfortunately, some received dangerous “metal on metal” implants, including those designed and manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics–a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Our hip implant injury lawyers are working with individuals who have been harmed by these products.

As most are now aware, the metal on metal implants have been shown in many models to have high failure rates. That means that the implants cause harm or break down at far too fast a rate. This often requires revision surgery and other treatments to try to deal with the complications.

It is important for families to know that these failures are not acceptable. In fact, evidence continues to mount that the company which designed and built the devices knew that the hips posed serious risks of harm.

Five Year Hip Implant Failure
Recently the New York Times published a story which indicates that Johnson & Johnson’s own internal review verified that a staggering 40% of the metal on metal hips would fail within five years of being implanted. It might not be as clear out of context, but a 40% – five year failure rate is incredibly high, are far too dangerous to have ever been used and actually implanted into tens of thousands of patients. Experts on the topic indicate that most hip implants should last fifteen years. Acceptable failure rates are usually only 1% within a year and 5% within five years. That means that the DePuy hips that were part of the recall may actually be 800% more risky than regular implants.

The legal cases related to these hips (which were recalled several years ago) is now underway. The revelation that Johnson & Johnson’s own investigation revealed such problems with the devices has only come to light now because it was part of one of the suits which is set to go to trial soon. Prior to being disclosed as part of the legal action, Johnson & Johnson kept the information about the high failure rate secret. According to the report, at the very time that the company was conducting the investigation which revealed the device’s dangers, it was publicly critiquing reports by others which indicated the devices were failing at too high a rate. In other words they were learning one thing in private but saying the opposite in public. Clearly their bottom line was more important at the time than being completely open and honest with those who may have been affected by their dangerous medical product.

It’s Not Over
The DePuy metal on metal hip recall occurred over two years ago, and some lawsuits have already made their way to court. However, it is a mistake to think that the complications from the defective hips are over. In fact, according to Johnson & Johnson’s own findings, many hips which are currently installing in patients will likely fail in the next few years. In other words, there will be more harmed patients who right now assume that their device is working fine.

The bottom line: If you or someone you know might be experiencing problems with a defective metal on metal hip, be sure to seek medical advice in a timely fashion. In some cases it may also be appropriate to visit with a hip implant lawyer to learn about your legal rights.

See Other Blog Posts:

Skirting Regulations with Metal on Metal Hips

Local Seniors Should be On Notice for Stryker Hip Recall