J&J metal hip problems keep erupting in the trenches

As if 8,000-plus lawsuits alleging faulty all-metal hips weren't enough, Johnson & Johnson/DePuy ($JNJ) data from an Illinois hospital suggests that repeat surgeries for patients dealing with the implants keep rising.

A new look at surgery records at Carle Foundation Hospital in Champaign, IL, points to a jump in problems. As MedPage Today reports, researchers looked at three years of follow-up data for patients who received the company's ASR XL between 2006 and 2009. They found a 19% rate of repeat surgeries--69 to be exact. But after four years, the number climbed to 82, or a 24% rate, according to the story. Dr. Chris Dangles of the Carle Foundation Hospital highlighted the findings at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting.

As the story points out, J&J/DePuy initiated a global recall in 2010 after registry data pointed to a much lower 13% repeat surgery rate over five years.

Dangles told his audience that the hospital stopped using the implant 18 months before the recall based on some major problems with some of the repeat surgeries and the damaged tissue they found around the implant site. Once the recall took place, his group subsequently notified all their patients who received the implant and brought them in for testing.

Last September, three plaintiffs settled their lawsuits against J&J over their ASR XL hip implants. But over 8,000 remain in the pipeline. And the FDA continues its evaluation of metal hip safety data from J&J and a number of its rivals.

- read the MedPage Today story

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