My Fox Chicago recently shared more information with its readers about the “junk joints” made by DePuy that continue to affect thousands of patients who underwent joint replacement surgery. Thousands of patients, many in nursing homes, may have been affected by the defective joints.
The story several victims. One man decided to have a metal hip implanted in his body after suffering sharp pains every time he bent over. As a lifetime sports addict, his body had been punished over the years-it had finally caught with him. However, while the doctor told him that the implant was supposed to last at least 15 years, he began having trouble with the hip implant within one year. He was struggling to move the hip and was in extreme pain.
Eventually his doctor discovered that his newly installed hip implant was defective. He was forced to have another risky surgery to replace it.
Thousands of other patients have a similar story to share. The article also discussed a female patient whose implant began flaking metal particles. The particles traveled into her bloodstream, leading to pain and swelling. After two corrective surgeries and a four day stint in the hospital, the ordeal was still not over. She suffered complications following the surgery. In one particular harrowing ordeal her whole body began to swell and turn black and blue. She was rushed to the emergency room where it was discovered that she had contracted a dangerous staph infection caused by pneumonia. She is lucky to have survived.
These victims represent only two out of thousands who suffered tremendously because of defective DePuy hip implants. As we have discussed often on this blog, nearly 100,000 of the implants were recalled by the company in August after evidence continued to mount regarding the extreme danger the product presented to patients. Many of the patients who have suffered complications from the product likely have irreparable harm to their bodies. Each time a join is redone some bone is lost.
Perhaps even more frustrating is the lack of clear answers on why the product was been defective in the first place and how the company allowed so many patients to face complications. Also concerning is the fact that there is no standardized tracking system in the United States for joint implants-other countries require such tracking. Those nations have seen the rates for revision surgeries drop by as much as ten percent as the lists allow defective devices to be identified much earlier.
One surgeon explains the problem, “If Maytag can track their washing machines…we should have the ability to track all major orthopedic implants, where they go and when they’re removed.”