The Story of the ASR

The DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System were specifically designed to meet the needs of active people. Since 2003, there have been approximately 10,000 fitted in the UK, throughout a wide cross-section of the UK population so all over the place unfortunately!

Over time, many of these people started to encounter problems and indeed some of the surgeons started to notice that they were having to re-operate on a much higher percentage of people than normal. Often, this resulted in the necessity for revision surgery and, in August 2010, the products were recalled.

Dr Tom Joyce of Newcastle University presented a talk to the group in October 2011 explaining the reason for the failure of these systems. If you would like more information, we have attached a transcript of the meeting here. He is currently researching the design failure of these joints and his website makes for interesting reading

In short, the problem is thought to arise because of the design of the ASR joint. This causes increased pressure between the two parts, forcing the body's natural lubricating fluid out. The metal surfaces then rub together and as the joint surface starts to wear, small particles of metal known as ions break away and get stuck in the muscles and ligaments around the hip joint. In many cases this then causes inflammation, and/or a build-up of liquid around the joint, and is usually accompanied by pain but not always! As the joint fails, a wide range of other symptoms begin to appear. The metal particles then get into the blood stream, but it is not yet known what long-term effects this might have (see below).

If the joint starts to fail, it is more than likely that revision surgery will be required. Unfortunately, this tends to be more difficult and carries higher risk of complications. Usually a revised hip will not work as well, or last as long, as a first hip replacement or resurfacing - meaning that the effects of premature joint failure will often be life-long.

Mr Nargol

Mr Tony Nargol, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, was one of the first surgeons in the UK to discover a problem with the ASR and he gave a presentation to the Hip Support Group in April 2011, which gave an insight into the scale of the problem and possible consequences. A transcript of this meeting is available here.

Many people have now started legal claims against DePuy for compensation for what they have been through or might have to go through in the future. DePuy have also instruct a loss adjustors called Broadspire who can pay out money towards the cost of revision surgery if you have had an ASR hip and minor out of pocket expenses. Their Reimbursement Claims Department can be contacted on 0800 279 4865.

Please note that Broadspire are not a firm of solicitors and they can not give you legal advice or make a claim for compensation on your behalf!!

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People have joined us from all over the UK and we try to keep in touch with everyone, mainly through the internet, to let members know about topics of interest - such as media coverage and research.

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