The orthopedic unit of Johnson & Johnson said Thursday that it was phasing out production of all-metal replacement hips, a move reflecting an industrywide trend to abandon the once widely used implants because of high early failure rates.
In 2010, the company, DePuy Orthopaedics, recalled an all-metal model known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R., because it was failing just a few years after implant. Typically, artificial hips made from materials like plastic and metal last 15 years or more before they wear out and need to be replaced.
But after that recall, the company continued to sell an all-metal version of a popular hip model called the Pinnacle. In doing so, DePuy insisted that the all-metal Pinnacle was safe and performing on par with other hip replacements, a position it reiterated on Thursday.