Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Bad News for DePuy Hip Replacement Patients - But Stay Strong

There have been higher than expected ASR DePuy Hip Replacement Recalls.  

With respect to the Hip Replacement issue, DePuy Orthopedics (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) prefers to lessen its financial damages by resurfacing the recalled hip replacements. DePuy orthopedic surgeons (such as Duke Medical's Dr. Michael Bolognesi) encouraged recall hip patients to undergo the resurfacing procedure as opposed to having a complete replacement.  It was good for his company DePuy's bottom line.  
My sincere thanks to The Depuy Hip Recall Lawyers at the Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, LLC for the concise information.  I have zero relationship with this firm but I am sure they are available to answer any additional questions patients may have about their rights.

The ASR Hip System used chromium and cobalt metals and was developed at Duke University. Dr. Michael Bolognesi believes that the metal on metal system would be more durable and wear longer.  The previous version was metal on plastic.

Did anyone really think about the patients?  Think about this logically.  For a a socket joint there are necessarily two surfaces rubbing together.  

  • Metal rubs on metal.  That is the ASR system developed at Duke University.  It seems inevitable that there will be metal shavings.  I can figure that out and I am just a girl.  
  • Metal on bone is a problem.  The bone will likely break down and then the patient is susceptible to bone infection (like me) or in other words osteomyelitis.  Trust me, no one wants that.  Dad died from it.  I have it.  Duke tried on both dad and I to fix osteomyelitis and they could not do it.  
  • Metal on plastic seems safer.  If the plastic doesn't last very long then scientist should think of a stronger plastic or other synthetic compound.
The evidence at this point with the ASR DePuy Hip patients is that the metal shavings get into the patients' bloodstream and cause deafness, dementia and heart failure.  Dr. Bolognesi's response:  "It's incredibly concerning."
Now DePuy is recommending patients have a blood test to check for high levels of chromium and cobalt, even as they and Johnson and Johnson face a class-action lawsuit filed earlier this year.

God bless those affected by the hip replacement tragedy.  Do not rely on DePuy's orthopedic surgeons.  Do not rely on a surgeon whose response is simple "It's incredibly concerning."  

You deserve better.  You deserve a doctor who is truly, unconditionally committed to your care.

As a patient, you may feel ill and sick.  Physicians should be able to handle that. My experience with orthopedic surgeons is that they consider themselves to be "carpenters."  Many orthopedic surgeons entered this specialty because "sports medicine" is fun and they would not have to deal with real sick people.

Some orthopedic surgeons may not necessarily be comfortable with a patient who presents with systemic symptoms of malaise, confusion, nausea, vomiting, dehydration.  And, most certainly, the staff will be uncomfortable with dealing with those patients.  

That is what I am dealing with now.  You must take care of yourself and stay well (both physically and emotionally) as you find an orthopedic surgeon who understands that orthopedic conditions can progress into real systemic illnesses.  

There is nothing wrong with you that a good, ethical, caring orthopedic surgeon cannot fix.  Stay strong and take care of yourself until you find someone who will take care you.


  1. kazemI am 64 and facing the possibility of ahip replacement. I am doubtful now as to have the surgery after reading your information. I've heard only good things about hip replacemnt until i read your infor. Thank you

  2. You should not only accept my advise. I am not a doctor. I am not qualified to give you medical advise on your particular case. I only suggest that you obtain medical care from an orthopedic surgeon *of your choice* (not DePuys choice) and that is what I suggest you do. Please do not suffer. Get medical care. You deserve to be well.