Hip Replacement Update: Graphite May Improve Safety of Device

Depuy hip replacement recallThe graphite compound may be useful for future hip replacement product designs, medical study says. This discovery emerged from the recent study commissioned by the National Institutes of Health that was published in the medical journal, Science. “Graphite has been used as a lubricant for over a century,” said study co-author Laurence Marks, a professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University near Chicago. “It is a classic lubricant, and it appears to form naturally.” The study authors were engineers and doctors from University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany and Northwestern, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Manufacturing companies of hip replacement products include Wright Medical Group Inc, Smith & Nephew PLC, Zimmer Holdings Inc, Wright Medical Group Inc, and DePuy Orthopaedics Inc.

Johnson & Johnson Faces Lawsuits due to Hip Device Failures

DePuy is a subsidiary company of Johnson & Johnson, which issued a worldwide recall of their products. Two of its implant designs have been manufactured and marketed since 2003.

Legal professionals say that several clients have initiated court actions against Johnson & Johnson. They were the suffering victims of DePuy product failures and defects, among them displacements, fractures and loosening.

In May 2011, medical practitioners and engineers formed a registry for tracking of hip and knee implants, following the DePuy hip replacement recall. It was called American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR).

“The goal is to track the more than 700,000 total hip and knee replacement surgeries that take place in the U.S. each year and, over time, record which implants failed prematurely, requiring revision surgery to fix the original operation,” according to David Lewallen, professor of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and AJRR chairman.

Health Complications and Symptoms of Faulty Hip Product

Among the health risks allegedly caused by DePuy hip devices are cancer due to the presence of chromium and cobalt in the blood, unexplained hip pain, hip dislocation, metal toxicity (metallosis), loosening of hip device, additional hip replacement surgery, detachment of hip device from the bone, pseudotumors, genetic damage (genotoxicty), bone fractures, bone loss, and tissue damages.

Among the symptoms of flawed hip devices are pain on the hip area, pain on the thigh or groin area, pain while walking, pain when rising from a seated position, pain bearing weight and swelling.

The DePuy hip replacement recall should be a wake-up call to other manufacturers to check on their medical products, legal observers say.

References:
• businessweek.com/news/2011-05-03/medical-groups-tracking-hip-knee-implants-after-j-j-recall.html
• usrecallnews.com/2010/09/depuy-hip-replacement-recalled-asr-artificial-hip-systems.html
• nytimes.com/2010/08/27/business/27hip.html
• tga.gov.au/newsroom/btn-dupuy-recall.htm

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