Two months ago, the Food and Drug Administration announced its recall of hip implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson. Since, complaints about the recalled models have flooded in, leading some to predict that the total number of faulty hip surgeries could easily surpass 12,000.
Government investigators are concerned that if the implant is not installed perfectly, the metal-on-metal models could send harmful metal shards into the blood stream and local tissue. The threat is so present that DePuy now recommends that patients immediately procure a blood test to determine whether they have abnormal levels of chromium and cobalt, which could lead to deafness and even heart disease.
As investigators continue to probe DePuy’s liability in this hip surgery fiasco, government officials and reporters have insinuated that the recall resulted from more than a simple mistake. First of all, the F.D.A. accused DePuy of marketing an unapproved knee device and selling hip implants for purposes not approved by the agency.
Second, a North Carolina-based investigative reporting operation found that the F.D.A. approved the implants without clinical trials. As the ABC affiliate reports, “The company used a little-known regulation that allows a medical device to be approved if it’s similar to another device that’s already been tested.”
The DePuy debacle is a major setback for Johnson & Johnson, a longtime leader of the pharmaceutical industry. “All this makes it seem like it’s a pile-on time for J.&J.,” said William Trombetta of Philadelphia’s Saint Joseph’s University. “This is a company that was purer than Caesar’s wife, this was the gold standard, and all of a sudden it just seems like things are breaking down.”
More than 100 lawsuits have already been filed on the state and federal level, reports the San Francisco Daily Journal, with personal injury lawyers expecting the total continue skyrocketing. Based on a similar hip implant lawsuit settled in 2002, some attorneys expect these cases could be worth at least $5 billion. We will keep you updated with more information as it arises. [UPDATE: DePuy Orthopedics Lawsuits Move Forward]
Here’s a video describing the medical issues associated with DePuy’s faulty hip implants:
Hip surgery complications can be divided into two categories: early and late.
What are the most common hip surgery complications?
Hip surgery can come with a variety of complications, including infection, blood clots, nerve damage, and dislocation. Out of these, infection is one of the most common complications. An infection can occur due to bacteria entering the surgical site during the procedure or due to bacteria already present in the patient’s body. The symptoms of an infection include pain, swelling, and redness in the area around the hip joint.
In the event that a patient experiences complications from hip surgery, they may be able to seek compensation for their damages through a lawsuit. The liability for the complications may fall on the doctor, surgeon, or medical facility where the surgery was performed. A settlement may be reached between the patient and the liable party to cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and other damages related to the complications.
It’s important for patients to be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with hip surgery so they can make an informed decision before undergoing the procedure. They should also seek medical attention immediately if they experience any symptoms of infection or other complications after the surgery. In the event that a patient experiences complications due to medical malpractice or negligence, they may be eligible to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for their damages.
Important statistics about hip surgery complications
Hip surgery is a common procedure in the United States with approximately 1.7 million hip replacement surgeries performed each year. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that the overall risk of complications following hip surgery is estimated to be between 1.5% and 3%.
One of the most common complications after hip surgery is infection, which occurs in up to 2% of cases. Patients undergoing hip surgery are at a risk of developing blood clots, which can form in the legs or lungs. The estimated risk of a blood clot forming after hip surgery is between 1% and 3%.
Another potential complication after hip surgery is a fracture, which can occur during or after the procedure. The estimated risk of a fracture is between 0.5% and 1%. It is important for patients to understand the potential risks and complications associated with hip surgery, so they can make informed decisions about their healthcare.