DePuy Orthopedics has withdrawn their ASR hip replacement system from the market:
"In a letter dated March 6, DePuy told doctors that recently analyzed data from Australia suggest that the ASR had a higher-than-expected failure rate when used in traditional hip replacement on certain types of patients. The letter said that the data shows that the risk is highest for patients of small stature, a group that typically includes women, and patients with weak bones." See: With Warning, a Hip Device is Withdrawn.
What's interesting is that DePuy voluntarily withdrew the product in Australia last December. Why would they wait until now for the U.S. market?
The ASR hip replacement system belongs to the category of devices known as metal-on-metal implants. The problem with the system is that it can generate large amounts of metallic debris after they are placed into the body. The can damage muscles and often requires follow-up operations shortly after the replacement. Artificial hips usually last 15 or more years.
The article states that since 2008, the FDA has received about 300 complaints on the DePuy ASR Hip Replacement. Interestingly, "the number of such complaints typically understates a product's problem, however, because many doctors and hospitals never bother to file reports with the FDA."