Although not as likely to occur as metallosis or cobalt poisoning, pseudotumors and cancer remain possible symptoms for patients who have received a DePuy ASR Hip Implant since 2003. In August 2010, Depuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson, recalled hundreds of thousands of its ASR hip implant components from the American marketplace and began notifying physicians of the potential failure rates of these units. Thousands of patients have been affected by the recall, with billions of dollars in damages are at stake.
Because the hip implant cups’ defective design results in the unit oftentimes being too shallow for safe function, bits of metallic debris can generate when patients stand up and place natural forces on the hip implant joints. As a result of this metallic debris, patients’ bodies can begin to experience a wide array of adverse reactions. One such reaction is pseudotumors. Pseudotumors are a soft mass of tissue that form in response to a toxic reaction to the excess metal debris and can be a fluid-filled sac or a solid mass. These unfortunate tumors have been specifically found to oftentimes emerge around the hip implant site. Studies show that pseudotumors cannot be eradicated until all metal debris is purged from the body.
Another adverse reaction the body can have to excess metal debris is the onset of cancer. While this is an unsettling and, at this point, theoretical development, some medical researchers speculate that there may be a scientifically valid link between the chromium contained in DePuy hip implants and cancer. According to a report published by the EPA, chromium is a cancer causing agent. Depending on the class of chromium a human is exposed to, symptoms can range from the severe (hemorrhage and vomiting in the case of Chromium IV), to the relatively mild (moderate toxicity from oral exposure to chromium III). While the chromium contained in DePuy ASR hip components were originally designed to shield the chromium parts from the rest of the body, the excess metal debris generated by latent defects have increased chromium exposure in some patients. Although it is way too early to tell whether cancer is a legitimate consequence of DePuy’s defective ASR hip components, it is certainly a consequence that requires further looking into.
The purpose of alerting recipients to the potentialities of pseudotumors and increased cancer risks is not to instill fear into patients. Rather, it is to illustrate the fact that affected patients may face a multitude of complications that aren’t necessarily readily apparent today. For this reason , it is essential that patients do not sign any waivers or consent to any settlements with DePuy until an attorney has had the opportunity to calculate lingering risks that may still exist ten to twenty years after the recalled DePuy hip implant has been replaced by a functional and safe one.
Please contact the attorneys at Berniard Law Firm to discuss any of the potential injuries and harms you may face as a result of receiving a defective DePuy ASR hip implant. Attorneys at the firm can assess future damages, in addition to those already presently incurred.