What is Hip Replacement Surgery?

Hip replacement is a procedure in which a surgeon removes a hip joint and replaces it with a hip replacement system. During a total hip replacement, sometimes called total hip arthroplasty, bone and cartilage that may have been damaged, are also removed and replaced.

Hip replacement surgery is not necessary for everyone. Some people can live fulfilling lives by taking medication to manage the pain in their hips. However, when the pain begins to limit activity and continues for most of the day, a doctor may recommend the procedure.

According to Dr. Jared Foran from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, some of the most common causes of pain that may require hip replacement surgery include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Childhood hip disease

When is Hip Revision Surgery Necessary?

While the majority of people have positive experiences after hip replacement, a growing number of people are starting to need revision surgery.

Hip revision surgery is an option when the current hip implant in your body begins to fail or experience issues and you need subsequent surgery to fix any problems.

These are the most common reasons for hip replacement surgeries, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery:

  • Implant wear
  • Dislocation of the implant
  • Infection
  • Implant loosening
  • Mechanical failure
  • Metal poisoning
  • Implant Breakage

Hip Implants Linked to Complications

More than 300,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States alone, and some patients are experiencing the complications listed below.

Which Hip Implants Are Defective

  • DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement System
  • DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System
  • DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System
  • Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implants
  • Stryker Rejuvenate Hip System
  • Stryker ABG II Modular Neck Hip Stems
  • Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System
  • Zimmer Durom Cup Hip Devices
  • Wright CONSERVE Plus Hip Devices
  • Wright PROFEMURE Z Stem

Risks Associated with Hip Revision Surgery

  • Dislocation
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Leg-length inequality
  • Heterotopic ossification
  • Fracture
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels
  • Failure of the bone to attach to the metal implant
  • Implant loosening

Who is Eligible to File a Lawsuit

Patients who have received a metal-on-metal hip implant in recent years and experienced unexpected complications or device failure before the expected life of the implant, which is usually between 10 and 15 years.

Defective Hip Replacement Lawsuit

Over the last few years, there have been more than 860,000 hip replacement surgeries in the United States. This number is more than likely to increase if current trends continue. According to the most recent American Joint Replacement Registry Annual Report, the number of hip replacement surgeries has risen from about 45,500 in 2012 to more than 280,000 in 2017. 

There are many people who have experienced severe health complications with their hip implants. These problems are caused by either the surgery or the side effects of a defective hip implant.

Patients who have experienced issues are responding by filing lawsuits against negligent companies such as Stryker, Smith & Nephew, and Johnson & Johnson. There are thousands of lawsuits being filed that claim the manufacturers of these hip implants should have prevented defective devices from being used in surgeries or should have warned patients about potential complications.

There are still thousands of defective hip replacement lawsuits currently underway. The companies facing lawsuits include DePuy (a division of Johnson & Johnson), Smith & Nephew, Stryker, Wright Medical, and Zimmer Biomet. Most of the defective hip replacement lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) to increase the efficiency of the lawsuit proceedings.

While most lawsuits involving defective hip implants have been resolved, there are still thousands more cases still pending across the country.

August 2010

DePuy recalls the ASR Acetabular Hip System and ASR Resurfacing System.

July 2012

Stryker recalls the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip systems.


Johnson & Johnson settled more than 8,000 lawsuits for $4 billion.

March 2013

A Los Angeles jury orders DePuy Inc. to pay $8.3 million in compensatory damages to a retired Montana prison guard who said he was injured by its ASR XL metal hip.

October 2013

Johnson & Johnson settles the first bellwether trial against DePuy ASR and pays $8 million in damages to a plaintiff.

November 2013

Johnson & Johnson agrees to settle most of the ASR lawsuits for $4 billion.


Stryker Corp. paid a settlement of $1 billion to settle thousands of New Jersey and Minnesota claims over its Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implant devices.

March 2014

Biomet is ordered to pay $56 million to settle claims over its M2A system.

November 2014

Stryker agrees to pay $1.43 billion to settle thousands of claims from the New Jersey multicounty litigation and the Minnesota multidistrict litigation.


DePuy extended Johnson & Johnson’s settlement to cover an additional 1,800 claims and paid a settlement of $420 million.
Biomet settled lawsuits alleging that its M2A Magnum metal-on-metal hip replacement system failed soon after it was implanted.

March 2015

Johnson & Johnson agrees to pay $420 million to settle more claims.

May 2015

The first case against Wright Medical’s hip implants goes to trial and results in a $4.5 million settlement verdict.


Zimmer Biomet paid a settlement of about $314 million to settle most of its Durom Cup lawsuits.
Johnson & Johnson, along with DePuy, settled 6 lawsuits for $247 million.
Wright Medical paid a $240 million settlement for 1,300 lawsuits.

January 2016

The second bellwether case against DePuy results in a $498 million plaintiff verdict, which a judge reduced to around $150 million by July 2016.

March 2016

A Dallas jury awarded $502 million to five patients who claim they were injured by the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant.

November 2016

Wright Medical reaches a $240 million settlement agreement to resolve 1,300 defective hip implant lawsuits.


Zimmer Inc. was ordered to pay $2 million to a man who was injured by Zimmer’s Kinective hip replacement implant.

October 2017

Wright Medical creates a settlement deal with a maximum of $89.9 million to resolve the remaining metal-on-metal hip claims that were not covered in the first settlement.

December 2018

Reports and court filings state that Johnson & Johnson were either in the process of settling or have settled over 3,000 out of the estimated 10,000 DePuy Pinnacle cases.


Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay a settlement of $1 billion to end hip replacement lawsuits. The settlement included an earlier settlement that was $400 million.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed April 26, 2019.

Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics. “Urgent Field Safety Notice”, Smith & Nephew. Accessed April 26, 2019.

HSS. “Hip Replacement”, Hospital for Special Surgery. Accessed April 26, 2019.

Jared R. H. Foran, MD. “Total Hip Replacement”, OrthoInfo. Accessed April 26, 2019.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. “Improving the Measurement of Surgical Site Infection Risk Stratification/Outcome Detection”, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed April 26, 2019.