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Although approved by the FDA, dozens of recipients of artificial discs are claiming that the discs are defective.

Used in Europe since the 1980s and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004, the Charite disc is marketed as an alternative to spinal fusion and is part of the growing and sometimes controversial use of spinal surgery.

The disc’s maker says the product is safe and has helped thousands of patients. But DePuy had no comment on Titsworth’s case or 27 similar lawsuits filed since January. Five involve California plaintiffs.

The suits allege that the disc is “unreasonably dangerous.”

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