What is the Failure Rate for DePuy Artificial Hips?



In August 2010, a recall for the DePuy ASR artificial hip was issued after the manufacturer acknowledged that the failure rate was about 12% to 13% within five years. However, more recent estimates suggest that many more people may experience problems with a DePuy hip replacement than the manufacturer has acknowledged.

Please note that the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are no longer taking on new cases involving DePuy ASR Hip Replacements. The content on this page is provided for informational purposes only.

The DePuy ASR is a metal-on-metal hip implant introduced in 2005. However, it was based on the design of an earlier artificial hip, known as the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip, which also appears to be linked to a higher-than-expected failure rate. Both artificial hip systems may increase the risk that individuals will suffer complaints such as:

  • Unexplained hip pain
  • Swelling or inflammation of tissue surrounding the hip implant
  • Difficulty walking
  • Pseudo tumors
  • Loosening of the hip replacement

Thousands of individuals throughout the United States have already filed a product liability lawsuit after experiencing DePuy ASR or DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement problems, and it is expected that the failure rates for the hip implant systems will continue to rise the longer these remain in the bodies of consumers.

Until recently, there was no registry in the United States to track the outcomes for hip replacements. Therefore, information about the exact failure rates is not yet confirmed.


In 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics confirmed that data suggests the failure rate for the ASR Hip Resurfacing System was 12% at 5 years and the ASR XL Acetabular System had a 13% failure rate, meaning that approximately one out of every 8 patients had their DePuy ASR hip fail, resulting in pain and the need for additional surgery.

More recent estimates have suggested that the ASR hip replacements may fail in a much higher percentage of people, increasing the longer the devices remain in place. Some experts have indicated that nearly half of all recalled DePuy ASR XL hip replacements could fail within six years (PDF).

According to a March 2010 report in The New York Times, reports of DePuy ASR hip failures increased dramatically between 2006 and 2009. The FDA received nearly 100 reports of problems in 2007, more than 200 in 2008 and over 300 in 2009, with over 90% of the problems reported in 2009 resulting in the need for revision surgery to replace the hip implant.

Following the recall and media attention surrounding the failure rate of DePuy hips, it is expected that thousands of more people will experience complications in the coming years as doctors more closely monitor their patients for the risk of metal ions in the blood following hip replacement surgery.


The DePuy Pinnacle is an older artificial hip system, which involves a similar metal-on-metal design to the ASR. In fact, approval for the DePuy ASR was obtained based on the indication that it featured a “substantially similar” design to the DePuy Pinnacle. Not surprisingly, it has also been linked to a high number of reported problems like the DePuy ASR.

The DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System consists of a porous coated hemispherical outer shell and a liner that locks into the outer shell, which can be either polyethylene or metal. When a metal liner is used with a metal femoral head, the metal-on-metal design of the DePuy Pinnacle poses substantially the same risk of small metal particles and debris being released into the patients body and tissue as the metal parts wear against each other.

Although it has garnered much less national media attention, because a DePuy Pinnacle hip recall has not yet been issued, thousands of people throughout the United States have experienced complications linked to metal toxicity from the Pinnacle hip.

In 2010, at least 548 complaints were reported to the FDA’s MedWatch adverse event reporting system, with many involving individuals who experienced symptoms consistent with metal poisoning. These reports likely only represent a small portion of the total number of issues from DePuy Pinnacle hips, as it is generally held that only 1% to 10% of all adverse events are ever reported to the FDA.


According to allegations raised in lawsuits filed throughout the United States, Johnson & Johnson and their DePuy subsidiary have known for years about the risk of problems with the hip replacement systems, which may be prone to failure and other early complications. However, they continued to sell the artificial hip implant and allowed it to be implanted in thousands of people throughout the United States. The known defects with the DePuy hip systems were concealed from doctors and patients, and the manufacturer misrepresented that the artificial hip implants were safe and effective.

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. were previously pursuing potential claims for individuals throughout the United States who have received a defective implant. DePuy hip replacement lawsuits are reviewed under a contingency fee arrangement, which means that there are never any fees or expenses unless a financial recovery is secured.

New cases are no longer being accepted by Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. This page is maintained for informational purposes only.

Austin Kirk

Last Updated September 18, 2011

3 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Franklin says:

    I have not had any major problems with my DePuy hip replacement up to this time, however, it has only been six years since I had it replaced, on August 8, 2004. I am just wondering if these types of replacements are in danger of causing some problem in the future??

    Posted on October 12, 2010 at 5:58 pm

  • Niggle says:

    I had a hip replacement carried out in Aug 2007 with no problems to date, however what is not clear in the information available is that,
    if 1 in 7 is faulty, surely if all the manufactured metal hips were constructed by the same method, all of them will and must fail, secondly, nobody has contacted me regarding having blood tests to establish if there is metal particals in the blood. If the above were the case, there seems to be conflicting opinions as to whether revision is to an acceptable standard. lastly how can you be expected to pay huge sums out, then claim later as I think many insurance firms will not pay for revision as they exclude this in their conditions

    Posted on November 30, 2010 at 8:31 pm

  • Danny says:

    Insist your regular medical doctor does a colbalt blood test to make sure you have not poision in your body from the asr hip. Get a lawyer. My wife is very sick from the poison and we are fighting insurance to take the thing out.

    Posted on February 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm

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