DePuy hip implant recall shows the need for National Joint Registry in the U.S.

DePuy Orthopedics issued a recall of the ASR XL Acetabular and Hip Resurfacing Systems due to a high revision rate in August 2010. This was up to several years after sales of the device had been halted in countries such as Australia. Evidence had been mounting since 2007 that the DePuy hip implants were defective after patients complained of severe pain and other problems within five years of their hip replacement.

In 2007, the National Joint Replacement Registry in Australia started noticing higher than average failure rates — 12 to 13% — for the ASR implants compared to devices manufactured by other companies. Data came in from other countries’ registries as well: in the UK, they noticed a 12 or 13% failure rate; in Sweden, the data said there was a 8.8% revision rate over a 3 year period. The failure rates gleaned from these registries showed that the DePuy products had a four times greater revision rate within 5 years and resulted in the DePuy hip systems to be pulled from these foreign markets. Some registries think that the failure rates are underestimated by 10%

In the United States, however, the defective DePuy ASR hip implants were not recalled until much later even though the Food and Drug Administration had received nearly 400 complaints. One wonders, “Why not?” One factor in this is that the United States does not have a “National” joint registry system.

We might only look to Australia as a model for a National Joint Replacement Registry. The Australian Orthopaedic Association founded their registry in 1999 to track data having to do with surgical outcomes based on a patient’s age, diagnosis, prosthesis type and surgical technique, etc. In measuring outcomes of a surgery, the principal measure is the revision rate, or the need for a “redo” surgery.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. The Farber Law Group has more than 40 years experience representing clients with their product liability cases caused by injuries from defective products including medical devices.

If you or a loved one have a defective DePuy hip, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical costs, loss of income and for pain and suffering. To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Bellevue DePuy hip recall attorney, contact us now at (800) 244-9087, or by e-mail at

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