(NEW YORK TIMES) -- In the split second after the blast, Lance Cpl. Cody Perkins thought he was still sitting in his unit's Humvee, enveloped in blinding dust kicked up by the roadside bomb. It was only when he slammed with shattering force onto the pavement that the 20-year-old U.S. Marine realized he'd been ejected from the rolling vehicle and thrown into the air.
Perkins's commanding officer was killed in the November 2005 incident outside Haditha, Iraq, and two other Marines were injured. Perkins came away with scrapes, bruises and a fractured femur, or thigh bone. After emergency surgery in Iraq, the Mississippi native was transported back to the U.S., where surgeons implanted screws to fuse the broken bone.
That failed, leaving Perkins hobbled. A military surgeon, Dr. Keith Holley, told him that his best option was a so-called metal-on-metal prosthetic hip made by DePuy Orthopaedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson. The new hip was being promoted as tough and durable — and thus perfect for younger, physically active patients like Perkins. On Dec. 13, 2006, Dr. Holley implanted DePuy's ASR XL Acetabular System in the soldier at the Navy Medical Center in San Diego.
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