At least 100 people living in Singapore have been implanted with the defective DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant and seven people already have been forced to endure surgeries to remove the devices.
According to a report from The Straits Times, an English-language news service there, these cases join the thousands more around the world from victims of this defective and since recalled faulty hip implant. Seven people, according to public records, have already undergone surgeries to remove the devices, just months or a few years after having it implanted to solve their persistent and severe hip pains.
DePuy Orthopaedics, makers of the defective device and itself a division of Johnson & Johnson, issued a recall on the ASR and ASR XL hip implant in the Fall of 2010 after widespread reports tied the devices to adverse event reports. Recipients of the devices complained that their new metal-on-metal hip implant was the cause of constant pain, inflammation, and discomfort.
The ASR and other metal-on-metal hip implants were hailed as the latest advancement in hip surgery and even promoted them as an effective alternative for people younger than the traditional hip implant recipient. Makers of the ASR and other all-metal hip implants said their devices would last longer and allow a recipient more mobility.
These claims turned out to be converse of the facts. After tens of thousands of people received these devices, many soon began experiencing these complications and others. Squeaking and popping at the site of the implant soon were followed by pain and inflammation. Many recipients of the ASR hip implant have been forced to undergo painful and costly revision surgeries to correct the problems caused by the faulty hip implants. Eventually, these surgeries lead to a replacement surgery, when a recipient of a second hip implant faces the risk of losing full mobility afterward.
In addition to these problems, it was also discovered that recipients of faulty metal-on-metal hip implants were put being put at risk of toxic metal poisoning. As the metal components of these implants wear together, they release small metallic fragments into the body and bloodstream. Over time, this accumulation of the metals cobalt and chromium can lead to metal poisoning, organ damage, and body system failures. Some recipients have even had small tumors growing in their body, likely an effect of the hip implants.
For the victims of these implants in Singapore, the Health Sciences Authority there has offered to foot the medical bills they’ll face in replacing the faulty implants. The authority has also established a hotline designed to aid recipients of these recalled hip implants. According to DePuy records, 115 people in Singapore received the recalled ASR line of hip implants between 2006 and 2010.
In the U.S., thousands of recipients of the device have taken to the legal process to hold DePuy accountable for its defective hip implant, including the false claims made of them and the fact that they were approved to the market on the back of misleading and sparse clinical data that showed it was safe and effective.