Despite promises by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that the vast majority of people who had DePuy Orthopaedics hip replacements implanted will not need revision surgery, an expert professor from Newcastle has claimed that as many as 50% of Irish victims would need new hips within 6 years.
Dr. Thomas Joyce, a reader in biotribology at the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, Newcastle University, has said during a conference in Dublin that, of the 3,516 DePuy hip replacement systems that have been implanted in Ireland since 2003, about 50% will need replacing within 6 years.
His allegations are based on studies of over 500 DePuy hip replacement patients in the U.K. – more than half of whom have experienced a joint failure within this period due to the “metallic wear debris” that can cause tissue damage and weaken the bone surrounding the implant. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc has already noticed a “higher than expected” failure rate and recalled the faulty ASR Articular Surface and ASR XL Acetabular systems late last year.
However, the HSE says that it has already conducted blood tests and precautionary x-rays on 2,022 patients as a precautionary measure, and has found very few who currently require revision surgery. They intend to continue to monitor the patients over a five year period under an agreement with DePuy Orthopaedics Inc.