If you have been implanted with a DePuy Pinnacle hip device, you have likely heard of the problems associated with the Pinnacle hip implant, as well as the lawsuits against DePuy and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson. The number of lawsuits is edging toward 9,000, with the last two bellwether trials ending in wins for the plaintiffs. In March 2016 five Pinnacle plaintiffs were awarded $500 million by a Texas jury for injuries suffered from a DePuy Pinnacle hip device.
Later in the year, in December 2016, another Texas jury awarded six Pinnacle plaintiffs $1 billion, the majority of which was designated as punitive damages. It appears these two Texas juries are sending a strong message to Johnson & Johnson and DePuy regarding marketing medical devices which have not been properly tested for safety. The Pinnacle hip device has a higher failure rate than acceptable, meaning thousands of Pinnacle hip recipients have been forced to undergo revision surgery, and thousands more will likely also have revision surgery for the following reasons:
- The patient may develop inflammation or severe, chronic pain in the hip, groin or thigh area;
- The patient may have significant levels of inflammation in the hip region;
- The patient may experience significant bone and tissue loss or even necrosis of bone and tissue;
- The Pinnacle implant may dislocate, and
- The patient may develop symptoms of metal toxicity and poisoning after cobalt and chromium ions shear away from the device and enter the bloodstream.
Should any of the above occur in a patient with a Pinnacle metal hip, hip revision surgery may be advised by the patient’s physician.
Pinnacle Hip Revision Surgery
Those who have decided Pinnacle hip revision (replacing the device with a safer alternative) surgery is either necessary, or simply that they want a potentially dangerous hip implant device removed from their body before they suffer injury, will typically spend about five days in the hospital. During the Pinnacle hip revision surgery, the artificial Pinnacle hip device will be removed from the body, and replaced with a safer alternative.
In very severe cases, a first surgical procedure will be required to remove the old scar tissue and treat the joint with antibiotics for infection. Once the infection has been taken care of, the Pinnacle hip device will be removed, and another device implanted. Depending on how the Pinnacle hip device was implanted in the original surgery, it may have to be cut out of the hip area.
Some patients will be prescribed a medication following Pinnacle hip revision surgery to decrease the chance of blood clots. Pain medication is usually administered via an IV for at least a couple of days after the revision surgery. Patients who experience unusual incision drainage, pain or inflammation, increased redness, or any other adverse health issues should contact their physician immediately.
Pinnacle hip revision surgery generally requires a longer recovery period than the initial implantation of the hip device. Normal activities such as climbing stairs or getting in and out of a vehicle may be especially difficult. X-rays of the are usually taken about a month after your Pinnacle hip revision surgery to ensure the area is healing properly. For most patients, it can take up to six months before they are able to walk without a limp, and without some pain. Most Pinnacle revision surgery patients will take part in rehabilitation and physical therapy after the surgery. This physical therapy will continue for up to a year after the Pinnacle hip revision surgery.
Conditions Which Can Affect a Pinnacle Hip Revision Surgery
In some cases, the risks of a Pinnacle hip revision surgery may be greater, due to certain health conditions or disorders such as:
- Any type of mental disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s;
- Extreme obesity;
- Adverse condition of the skin which covers the hip;
- Current hip infection;
- Any type of vascular disease which is considered severe, or
- A terminal illness.
Patients who have chronic diseases or disorders, patients over the age of 75, males, patients weighing more than 300 pounds, African Americans, and patients in a lower socioeconomic bracket typically are less likely to recover as quickly from a DePuy Pinnacle hip revision surgery.
Getting the Help You Need With Your DePuy Pinnacle Hip Revision Surgery
If you must have your DePuy Pinnacle hip revised, your health must be your top priority. Beyond health considerations, it can be very beneficial to speak to a knowledgeable Pinnacle hip revision attorney so you can discuss how you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.