Johnson & Johnson (DePuy) Hip Replacement Recall

If you received a DePuy hip implant you may be entitled to compensation.
On August 24, 2010, DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson recalled its ASRTM XL Acetabular System (hip implant) and ASRTM Hip Resurfacing System.  Despite the fact that a replacement hip should have lasted 15 years or more, if you received an ASR XL Acetabular System or an ASR Hip Resurfacing System, then there is a 1 in 8 chance that your new hip will need to be replaced within the first five years of implantation.

If think you have a DePuy ASRTM Hip Implant,
What should you do?

First, contact your doctor. Your doctor should have more information and should be able to confirm the type of implant you received.  If you have an ASRTM hip implant, your doctor will likely recommend blood tests to measure the levels of chromium and cobalt in your bloodstream.  These tests will determine if there is excess metal in your bloodstream which is an indicator of excessive wear of the ASRTM hip system. Your doctor may also discuss the need for revision surgery in order to replace the defective hip.  

    You may be given forms from DePuy or from Broadspire (the company working with DePuy to handle claims) requesting authorization to access your medical records and your explanted (removed) hip.

These forms will say that DePuy is requesting this information so that it can process claims in order to compensate patients. However, these forms are vague and do not explicitly promise payment nor do they promise compensation for missed work or other expenses. It is important that you consult with an attorney before signing any of these documents. DePuy can use this information to deny your claim and impair your ability to collect money from DePuy.

The recall means that, at the very least, you will need to undergo testing to determine whether your ASR hip is functioning properly.  At worst, you will require a second painful, invasive surgery.