The high revision surgery rates attributed to the recalled DePuy ASR hip implant were a notable finding in the recently released Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry’s (“AOANJRR”) 2012 annual report. Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports on the increase in revision hip procedures. In 2010, revision procedures represented 11.3 percent of all hip replacements, while the number increased to 12.5 percent in 2011. According to the report summary, “The major reason for this increase was the high number of revisions being undertaken for the ASR, in particular the ASR XL used in primary total conventional hip replacement. Last year there were 573 revision procedures reported for this prosthesis, this accounted for almost all of the increase in revision hip procedures.” There were 38,022 hip replacements reported to the registry in 2011.
The AOANJRR raised concerns about the DePuy ASR hip implant even before DePuy Orthopaedics issued the worldwide recall. DePuy removed the ASR hip from the Australian market in 2009 after receiving reports from the AOANJRR about higher than anticipated revision rates, and a decline in use of the device in Australia. “This decline was the reason the company gave for removing the ASR from the Australian market, well ahead of the subsequent worldwide withdrawal in 2010.”
Registry Report Finds High Failure Rates Of Metal-On-Metal Hip Replacements
The AOANJRR report also found that metal-on-metal bearing surfaces in total hip replacements, especially those with large femoral heads of 32mm and above, have higher failure rates than other bearing surfaces. “This increased rate of revision is evident in most metal on metal prostheses. This has been identified by the Registry for a number of years and the use of large head metal on metal bearings has now almost completely ceased in Australia.”