FAQ About the DePuy Hip Recall
Our clients often come to us with dozens of questions that need answers immediately. Below is a list of some of the most common questions we see when talking to patients about the process of filing a hip recall lawsuit. If you have any additional questions, please send them to us and we’ll add those questions to this listing so other people in the same situation can get more information.
I don’t have any symptoms with my ASR hip implant, so why do I need blood tests?
Even if you don’t have any of the physical symptoms of a bad ASR hip, there are other problems with this defective product. A blood test can determine if you have high levels of metal debris in your hip and don’t know it. The metal debris is another side effect of the metal-on-metal hip cups rubbing together and shearing off metal shards into your body, causing metal poisoning.
How do I know if I have a recalled DePuy ASR Hip?
Patients with a recalled ASR hip should have received a letter from their orthopedic surgeon telling them about the recall. Even if you did NOT get any notification, you could still have one of the recalled products implanted in your body. Here’s what you should do:
- If you know you have a “metal-on-metal” hip implant manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, it might be an ASR. You need to request the medical records from the hospital where the hip was implanted, specifically, a document often referred to as the “Medical Device Record.”
- You should review the records to determine if you have a DePuy ASR implant. Medical records can be complicated documents. If you have difficulty understanding them, the attorneys at Maglio, Christopher & Toale, P.A. can review the records for you and tell you if you have a recalled ASR hip implant.
Will I need another surgery?
Whether or not you will need another surgery depends on a number of factors.
The first step is to make an appointment to see your orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible. The surgeon will examine you and perform a series of tests to determine if your hip cup is loose or has other serious problems.
If the hip implant IS loose and moving around in the joint, it could cause severe damage. Even if the cup is not loose, other serious medical problems could be happening. In those cases, the recalled ASR hip needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
It’s essential that you work closely with your orthopedic surgeon to get these answers. Once you’ve discovered that your ASR hip has failed, you should contact a medical products liability attorney immediately.
Should I call DePuy’s ASR Hip Recall Hotline to get a claim number?
Before you call the DePuy ASR Hip Recall Hotline, it’s in your best interests to contact a medical products liability attorney.
Your lawyer will assess your case to determine if it is in your best interests to contact DePuy for a claim number. It is essential that you protect your rights in this circumstance. You should not be giving DePuy any of your private and confidential medical records at this point.
You should not sign any paperwork given to you by DePuy in relation to the hip recall.
DePuy may ask you to undergo medical testing to get more information about your health and the status of your ASR hip replacement. Be very careful because DePuy will dictate to you which medical testing company you should go to and what tests you need to take. Depending on what you may have signed, DePuy may be allowed to see the results of your medical tests. Your medical treatment should not be in the hands of the company that created the problem in the first place.
This is why it’s important to seek the advice of a medical products liability attorney. You want to be sure that you do not sign away your legal rights during any part of the recall process.
What are the symptoms of a loose ASR Hip Implant?
According to the orthopedic experts that we work with, one of the classic symptoms of a loose ASR hip cup is lift-off pain. This a sharp pain when you get up out of a chair or rise from a seated position. The pain can last anywhere from a few minutes to up to an hour afterward.
Other symptoms include pain when walking and pain or discomfort in the hip area. You may not experience any symptoms at all, but a blood test could determine that you have metal debris in your body. Every patient is different, so it is important to discuss this with your orthopedic surgeon.
What costs will be covered if I need a second surgery?
It is still unclear what DePuy will voluntarily pay for if you need a revision surgery to replace the defective hip. DePuy says they will reimburse you for “reasonable” out of pocket costs. What that means is very uncertain. Will they reimburse your insurer for what they paid for the revision surgery? And what about the costs of the pain you’ve gone through because of their defective hip implant? This is why it is important for you to have a medical products liability attorney represent your interests.
What if I’ve been laid off and don’t have health insurance?
This is a difficult situation because we don’t know how DePuy will react when there is no insurance company to work with. DePuy may ask you to sign away certain rights in order for them to pick up the entire costs of the revision surgery. Be careful. You may be placing your health care in the hands of the company that sold you a defective product. Without insurance or employment, you are in a precarious situation. Again, this is why it is so important for a medical products liability attorney to represent you against DePuy Orthopaedics.
What if I had the second surgery to replace the bad ASR hip implant BEFORE the recall took effect?
Just because you had problems before the recall was announced does not affect a legal case. DePuy is still responsible for the costs, medical expenses, pain, lost wages, and damages that you went through because of their defective product. However, under the law you have a limited time in which to bring a case, so don’t delay.
What happens when your attorneys review my case?
The attorneys begin by gathering ALL of your medical records and carefully reviewing every section of them. First, they determine if you actually have the recalled ASR metal-on-metal hip implant.
Next, the attorney makes sure that the reason your ASR hip implant didn’t work properly was because of a defect with the hip implant. They’re looking to see if there are any other reasons why your hip implant may have gone bad, such as a bad fall or accident. But even if you had a fall, it could have been caused because of the defect in the ASR hip itself.
Basically, the attorney reviews the records to make sure nothing else is going on medically that could have caused similar problems as a defective hip implant.
Should I sue the orthopedic surgeon who sold me this hip implant?
No. We don’t believe so. The orthopedic surgeons only knew what DePuy and Johnson & Johnson told them about the ASR metal-on-metal hip implant. This was supposed to be the latest and newest technology for younger, more active adults, who needed total hip replacements. It appears that it would not make any difference if the most skilled orthopedic surgeon in the country implanted your ASR hip, and indeed, that may have been the case. The problem is with the product, not the surgeon.
How much are the legal fees and costs for you to take my case?
There are no upfront legal or professional fees for you to pay if we take your case. Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. will not charge you unless you recover money through a trial or a settlement.