DePuy Orthopaedics rolls out new hip, shoulder, knee surgery technologies

DePuy's AOX Antioxidant Polyethylene on the Sigma knee replacement

DePuy Orthopaedics launched several new surgical products this week for knee, shoulder and hip revisions.

The Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary accounted for $5.8 billion in sales in 2011, but those sales were offset by $521 million in costs associated with the 2010 recall of its metal-on-metal ASR hip replacement system. That line of products had such a high failure rate that it was pulled from the market and even more costs were racked up with a slew of lawsuits filed against DePuy.

Presumably the company hopes to regain consumer confidence by continuing to release new technology for its implants. The following products were launched at the 2012 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting this week.


Knee surgery

The newly released AOX Antioxidant Polyethylene is a new formulation of polyethylene, which is a material commonly used as a bearing surface in joint replacements. When exposed to oxygen, it creates free radicals that can weaken the implant. This new formulation includes antioxidants to provide wear resistance in DePuy’s Sigma rotating platform total knee replacement and LCS complete mobile bearing knee systems.

The technology received premarket FDA approval in December of last year and is similar to fellow Indiana orthopedics company Biomet’s antioxidant infused technology for knee bearings.

Another new product, Trumatch Personalized Solutions technology for use with SIGMA Fixed-Knee Bearing Knee System, aids implant positioning and can reduce procedure time by up to 35 minutes. It uses CT scans and computer software to guide the personalized development of femoral and tibial cutting blocks that match the bone surfaces of each patient.

Hip surgery

Cleared by the FDA last February, the Reclaim Modular Revision Hip System includes novel instrument technology to improve intraoperative handling, flexibility and efficiency, the company says.

Another hip system, the Gription TF Acetabular Augment System, uses commercially pure titanium foam, a strong, corrosion-resistant metal with high surface roughness and elasticity that’s similar to bone, and fills the gap between the acetabular bone and cup in patients with severe bone defects. Its advantage, the company says, is that it’s engineered to provide numerous options and configurations for customization.

“The new DePuy hip and knee implants are produced using a new, never-before-used titanium foam. Their effectiveness will hopefully prove more successful than the recalled DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing system hip implants,” said David Floyd, DePuy’s worldwide president who resigned last March, in an article from 2011.

Shoulder surgery

A unique feature of the Global Unite Platform Shoulder Arthroplasty System is that it can easily be converted to a reverse shoulder arthroplasty later for treatment of arthritis with a torn rotator cuff. It is also supposed to help improve healing, the company says.

Finally, the Global Steptech Anchor Peg Glenoid is designed to correct excessive retroversion caused by posterior glenoid bone loss and minimize the removal of healthy bone.