How Sustainable is the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant?

Examining Problems and Injuries Associated with Depuy's Pinnacle Hip Implant

Although hip implants made entirely out of metal were designed to be more durable, holding up better over time, and lasting as long as 20 years, unfortunately this has not been the case with many metal hip implants, including the DePuy Pinnacle. According to the New York Times, DePuy internally projected the ASR devices would fail in 40 percent of patients within five years—eight times higher than the failure rate of other similar hip devices.

This fact means that the Pinnacle is simply not the sustainable hip device DePuy claimed it was. Many patients have undergone revision surgery to remove and replace their defective metal-on-metal Pinnacle implant. Revisions surgeries are often more invasive, requiring a longer recovery time than the initial hip replacement surgery. Patients who reported issues with their Pinnacle within the first five years experienced such symptoms as:

·         Chronic pain;

·         Difficulty walking;

·         Inflammation in the hip region;

·         Loosening of the implant;

·         Fracturing of the bone surrounding the Pinnacle implant, and

·         Dislocation of the Pinnacle implant.

Additional Problems Caused by the Pinnacle

As patients engage in activity—even something as simple as walking—the metal parts of the Pinnacle rub against one another, causing tiny metal ions to shear away, imbedding themselves in the surrounding hip tissues or making their way to the bloodstream where they cause such symptoms as:

·         Impairment of hearing and vision;

·         Sperm abnormalities and other reproductive disorders;

·         Liver necrosis when extremely high levels of chromium have built up;

·         Inflammation;

·         An inability of the body to repair its own DNA;

·         Impairment of kidney functions;

·         Nerve impairment (generally reversed when the device is removed);

·         Necrosis of tissue and bone close to the implant;

·         Severe dermatitis, and

·         An increase in the development of certain cancers.

The Pinnacle, as well as the recalled ASR, were touted by DePuy and Johnson & Johnson as being not only safe and effective, but particularly good for younger, more active patients. Like other metal-on-metal hip implants, the Pinnacle is constructed of dissimilar metals—the stem is titanium, while the neck portion is constructed of cobalt and chromium. The mixture of metals, is yet another reason for metal ion shear, which eventually leads to the necessity of Pinnacle revision surgery.     

Although DePuy and Johnson & Johnson recalled the defective ASR, and eventually settled thousands of ASR cases, they continue to maintain the safety of the Pinnacle, despite the more than 9,000 DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits.

Pinnacle Hip Implant Lawsuits

The most recent Pinnacle hip implant lawsuit began in September 2017, and is expected to wrap up in November. In this lawsuit, six plaintiffs brought a claim (a bellwether trial) against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson in Dallas, Texas. The attorneys for the plaintiffs are emphasizing the high failure rate of the Pinnacle metal hip implants, contending J & J rushed the Pinnacle to market, thereby failing to adequately conduct premarket clinical trials and studies. Further, the Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits claim there were no warnings regarding the potential dangers of the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implant.

Were You Harmed by a DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant?

If you suffered harm after implantation of a DePuy Pinnacle hip device, it could be extremely beneficial to contact a DePuy Pinnacle hip implant injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can tell you whether you are eligible to file a DePuy Pinnacle hip implant injury lawsuit and pursue compensation for your injuries.

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Author: Andrew Sullo
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Andrew Sullo

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Andrew Sullo is a National Trial Lawyer's Top 100 Selection for 2013-2018. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice.

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