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Hip implant manufacturer reveals staggering failure rate

As most Nebraska residents know, advancements in technology have made it possible for some people to live longer. People who receive a new prescription drug or medical device may experience life changing results. However, some drugs and medical devices can actually cause more harm than good. Patients could suffer serious complications as a result.

Hip implants are usually made of plastic and metal. Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopaedics division, however, created a hip implant called the Articular Surface Replacement. This device was particularly unique because it was made entirely of metal.

Typically, patients will need a hip implant replaced after 15 years. However, Johnson & Johnson discovered that the failure rate in the A.S.R. implant was much higher. They recalled the device in 2010.

More than 10,000 lawsuits have been filed against the company for the defective hip implant. It is believed that the device can grind together and cause tissue and bone damage. The debris may even cause metal poisoning in some patients.

The first of many trials will begin this week, and court documents have revealed some troubling information. According to an internal analysis, 40 percent of the implants will need to be replaced within five years. Although thousands of people have already had their devices replaced, there are likely many more people who will have to undergo surgery to have the faulty implant replaced.

Patients in Lincoln who have suffered complications after receiving the A.S.R. implant may be able to pursue legal action. In doing so, they may be able to obtain compensation to help cover medical expenses and lost wages as well as to make up for the pain and suffering they were forced to endure as a result of the faulty device.

Source: New York Times, "Maker Aware of 40% Failure in Hip Implant," Barry Meier, Jan. 22, 2013

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