DePuy ASR™ Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement


Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement

ASR (articular surface replacement) hip replacements are called metal-on-metal because the two parts of the system that articulate together are both made of one of the following:

  • Titanium
  • Stainless steel
  • Cobalt chrome

 An artificial hip joint consists of two primary parts to replicate the normal human hip. Our hips are ball and socket joints. The ball is a round-shaped piece of bone that is the top part of the femur, or the thigh bone. The socket is a cup-shaped cutout in the pelvis within which the femoral head articulates.

DePuy ASR™ System

DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson, is the maker of the CoMplete™ Acetabular Hip System. In this metal-on-metal artificial hip joint, the femoral head and the lining of the cup-shaped socket are both made of metal.

The cup lining is a Pinnacle® Ultamet® cup-shaped shell. This metal insert is made from a cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy that has highly polished surfaces. The femoral head is designed to glide smoothly inside the artificial acetabulum (the cup-shaped cutout in the pelvis) and allow a full range of motion similar to that of a person’s normal hip.

Problems with the ASR™ System

While the idea of smooth metal parts gliding together was a good one, problems with the metal-on-metal system soon became evident. The friction of the metal surfaces rubbing together caused metal debris to flake off the artificial joint. The result is:

  • Severe inflammatory responses in some patients
  • Damage to muscle and other soft tissue
  • Metal ions appearing elsewhere in the body


In addition to problems with the generation of metal debris, other difficulties became apparent. Surgeons complained that the artificial cup was:

  • Difficult to implant because of its configuration
  • Too shallow


Failure of the DePuy ASR™ XL System

These problems were causing patients pain, leading to the need for another hip replacement surgery, called a revision operation. The revision operation meant that the original implant had to be removed and a new implant had to be inserted.

This second operation often was more complicated than the first, and of course the patient had to endure more surgery, pain, potential complications, and expense.

Problems with the ASR™ Acetabular Component

Certain hip replacement systems have failed early, causing patients to require revision surgery in only about five years after installation. Most hip implants are expected to last approximately 15 years. One of the problems causing the systems to fail is a loosening of the acetabular component (the socket portion of the hip implant).

Due to this problem and others DePuy issued a recall of all the ASR™ and ASR XL™ Acetabular Cup systems. If you are experiencing pain, or if you received a letter from your doctor asking for an evaluation, you should visit your doctor immediately.

If you are in need of a hip revision surgery due to a faulty DePuy hip replacement, contact our hip implant attorneys for legal assistance today. We are available to investigate lawsuits on behalf of patients who have experienced harm from these recalled hip systems.

The ASR™ XL cups were implanted from 2008-2009.

DePuy Hip Replacement Recall Information intends to provide patients with up-to-date information about the recent DePuy hip implant recalls. For more information, please select from the following:

Depuy Hip Implant News

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