FIVE hip operation patients per day have been phoning a York solicitors wanting to sue an American medical company.

The surge has come as an immediate response to a story in The Press, in which we revealed how Pryers Solicitors, in The Stonebow, York, had taken up the cases of 50 people, 35 of whom were from North Yorkshire, with 22 having received surgery at Clifton Park.

All of them were fitted with hip products manufactured by US company DePuy Orthopaedics Inc – the ASR Hip Resurfacing System and the ASR XL Acetabular system.

Both products were recalled last August by DePuy after being on the market for seven years, following a high number of complaints and revision surgery.

Problems identified by DePuy included component loosening, misalignment, infection, bone fracture, pain and “metal sensitivity” – the result of debris from metal-on-metal chafing getting into the bloodstream.

One of the callers who responded to The Press’s story was farmer Penny Hodgson, 49, of Thorn Hill Farm, Thirsk Road, Easingwold, who has now launched a support group for fellow sufferers in York and North Yorkshire.

Pryers Solicitors is now helping her to organise the group’s first meeting at the Marriott Hotel, York, on Saturday, February 12, starting at 10.30am.

Mrs Hodgson had suffered from osteoarthritis to the point where she was forced to have two total hip implants in 2006.

She said: “By 2008 one of the metal hip cups had completely slipped and the implant was sticking into me rather than my hip and the tissues around my joints were inflamed.

“I can’t sit down properly – it’s difficult when driving a tractor – and if I drop something in the street I can’t bend down to pick it up.”

DePuy statistics show about 12 per cent of patients who had received the ASR resurfacing device and 13 per cent fitted with the ASR total hip replacement needed to have revision surgery.

A DePuy spokeswoman said 9,600 ASR hips were fitted in the UK. The high failure rates were detected in the UK national joint registry, the surgeons’ five-year database.

Problems listed included component loosening, misalignment, infection, bone fracture, metal sensitivity and pain.

She said: “We therefore withdrew the two products immediately. We intend to give affected patients reasonable and customary costs of testing and treatment.”