Complications linked to the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement include device loosening and failure, among others. Our law firm is now working with some of the more experienced metal on metal hip implant attorneys in the country who are filing hip replacement lawsuits. There is no legal fee unless you receive a settlement or award for you injuries. Feel free to call our offices toll-free anytime or submit an online contact form.
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DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant?
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The FDA approved the first version of the DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System in 2000. This device was the predecessor of the DePuy ASR, which has since been recalled. Although the Pinnacle has not been the subject of a recall, it causes many of the same hip problems as the ASR. These problems stem from the fact that both implants were available in metal on metal versions, which have metal bearing surfaces. The bearing surface is the part of the device where movement occurs. The company has sold the Pinnacle with ceramic, metal, and plastic liners as the bearing surface. The implants with the metal liners have reportedly failed at higher rates because the moving parts grind against each other causing the device to wear down quickly.
Recently, DePuy and its parent company Johnson & Johnson announced that they would stop marketing their Utlamet and Complete Hip System metal liners (i). This decision comes in the wake of more than 15,000 lawsuits that have been filed against the company alleging they suffered metal on metal injuries. If you have been implanted with this medical device, then you should talk to a hip replacement lawyer.
Complications Associated With All-Metal Hips
Thousands of patients who have received the Pinnacle Hip Replacement are now alleging that the device caused them serious injuries. Many patients have had to undergo corrective surgery resulting in long hospital stays and substantial medical bills. It has been alleged that the implant has caused:
- Pain in the leg, hip, and groin
- Inflammation and swelling
- Limping and problems walking
- High levels of metal in the bloodstream
- Bone fracture at the surgery site
- Device loosening, dislocation, and failure
Dangers of the Pinnacle Hip Replacement Revealed
The risks associated with the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant were initially revealed by the FDA’s adverse event database which showed that there were 315 reports in 2009, 557 reports in 2010, and more than 1,300 reports of side effects in 2011. Medical studies have also examined the high failure rate of this device. In February 2012, BBC reported the test results of Dr. Tony Nargol who found that 75 of these hips failed out of 970 that were implanted. Dr. Nargol also stated that this device caused high concentrations of metal in the bloodstream. “We are seeing patients with 10, 20, 50 times normal levels. I think our highest level is nearly 300”. Read the BBC article here. On the same day this article was released the British Medical Journal cited a study which found that up to 20% of patients who received this device had high levels of metal ions in their bodies (ii).
In May 2012, The Jounal of Bone & Joint Surgery published a medical study about the Pinnacle Hip. The study described how four women received the implant but underwent revision surgery after they heard “squeaking sounds” from the joint. On average they needed corrective surgery just 13 months after implantation. After the devices were removed the doctors discovered that the cup liner was deformed (iii). Later, in December 2012, Orthopedics published the case study of a woman who received a 28mm DePuy Pinnacle implant with an Ultamet metal liner. The woman began to suffer complications 5 years after the surgery. A, iliopsoas bursal cyst developed near her groin causing significant swelling. She also had high levels of chromium and cobalt ions in her blood which stained tissue surrounding her hip (iv).
Pinnacle Hip Replacement Lawsuits
On top of the more than 10,000 ASR lawsuits, DePuy and Johnson & Johnson are also facing more than 4,000 Pinnacle lawsuits. In fact, on May 24, 2011, many of these claims were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The July 2013 docket showed that in the case of “In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Product Liability Litigation, MDL – 2244” there have been 4,094 legal actions and that 4,079 of these are still pending (v).
In July 2012, Reuters reported on the Pinnacle Hip lawsuits facing DePuy and Johnson & Johnson. According to the article, approximately 150,000 people have received this device and doctors estimate that more than 10% of the all-metal models will fail in the next two or three years. The article also followed the stories of Frances Grisham and Harriet Bowen, two women who suffered fractures in their left hip. Read the whole story here.
Patients all across the country are reporting that this hip replacement has failed. Delores Hatcher, a West Virginia woman, has filed a DePuy Pinnacle lawsuit after suffering pain and difficulty walking shortly after receiving the device. Tests conducted by her doctor also revealed that she had high levels of cobalt in her blood. She now alleges that the hip implant was defectively designed and lacked adequate warnings. Mark Hart, a Pennsylvania man, has also filed a lawsuit against the company after suffering severe pain and elevated metal levels. He also alleges that he will eventually need a wheelchair because his multiple surgeries have left insufficient bone at the surgery site.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer about Filing a DePuy Hip Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one undergone revision surgery because of this implant, you should talk to an attorney about your legal options. Our law firm is currently investigating the DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System and we are working with experienced hip replacement lawyers who are filing lawsuits. There are no legal fees unless you receive a settlement or award. Feel free to call 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online in confidence.
- (i) Bloomberg, May 17, 2013.
- (ii) British Medical Journal, February 28, 2012.
- (iii) The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, May 2, 2012.
- (iv) Orthopedics, December 2012.
- (v) Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation Docket, July 10, 2013.