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On January 17, the FDA issued new guidance for patients with metal hip implants. While the DePuy ASR hip implants were recalled over 2 years ago, this is the first time the FDA has issued guidance regarding all metal hip implants. What is new is that the FDA is recommending that patients with certain symptoms should be tested for the presence of the metal ions cobalt and chromium. Metal fragments may be released as the metal-on-metal hip’s ball and socket rub against each other during ordinary hip movement.

The symptoms include but are not limited to pain or swelling at or near the hip, a change in walking ability, or a noise from the hip joint. The FDA guidance lists a variety of symptoms that should be followed up.If you are experiencing any symptom you believe may be related to your hip implant, you should see your doctor and ask if it might be wise to have a blood test for the presence of metal fragments.

Thornton Law Firm is actively litigating cases against DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, whose ASR hip implant systems were recalled in August 2010 and whose Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip system still remain on the market today. The majority of the DePuy cases have been consolidated into what’s called ”MDL”. The ASR cases are pending before Judge David A Katz in federal court in Ohio, and the Pinnacle cases are before Judge Ed Kinkeade in the northern district court in Texas. The first cases to go to trial against DePuy began on January 25, 2013 in the Los Angeles state court. The first federal “bellwether” ASR trials are scheduled for May 6, 2013 and July 8, 2013. The Pinnacle trials will begin in 2014.

A study showed that one in eight recipients of the ASR system required another replacement hip surgery within five years. The latest data released on March 2, 2011 at the British Hip Society annual conference indicates a nearly 50-percent failure rate after six years for the J&J ASR XL replacement hip.

Unfortunately, these implants continue to fail and injure recipients. If you have any questions about your metal-on-metal hip implant, please tell us your story here or call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick for a free consultation at 888-341-1405.