Warning: DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement Devices Can Cause Serious Complications
Each year, approximately 270,000 people in the U.S. undergo hip replacement surgery, with more than 20% of them performed using what is known as “metal-on-metal” hip implants. A metal-on-metal hip implant is a device that contains a metal ball and socket which are typically made of chromium or cobalt. For many years before the use of metal-on-metal implants, earlier devices were made from other materials such as polyethylene (plastic) or ceramic.
However, over last ten years, many orthopedic surgeons have favored implants made with metal stems and sockets, as they appeared to be more resistant to dislocation and material wear and tear.
One such hip placement device that showed promise for people with serious hip problems is the metal-on-metal DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, or “DePuy Pinnacle”, manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., (“DePuy”), and introduced to the public in 2000.
Since then, the device has unfortunately received quite a bit of public scrutiny, due to serious complications associated with its use, such as:
- Chronic hip, groin or back pain
- Painful walking or moving
- Swelling in the hip/groin area
- Dislocation or loosening of the implant device
- A clicking or crunching noise originating from the implant device
- Decreased physical ability
- Metal poisoning
- Subsequent hip implant revision surgeries
- Cancer from toxic metal exposure
FDA Warnings about the DePuy Pinnacle
Due in pertinent part to serious complications associated with the use of the DePuy Pinnacle implant device, in December of 2011, the FDA sent a warning letter to DePuy, advising them that a number of its hip, knee and joint replacement devices were being improperly marketed. In addition to being cited for selling products that did not receive FDA approval, DePuy was also informed by the FDA that their hip replacement products lacked effective quality control procedures – citing the issues associated with the DePuy ASR device as precedent.
In essence, the FDA provided that DePuy did not use appropriate methods that would have demonstrated the number of quality issues associated with the DePuy Pinnacle and numerous other related products. The FDA has also recognized a link between metal-on-metal implants and metal poisoning. Notwithstanding, the company has not yet issued a recall of its DePuy Pinnacle as it did with its ASR device.
What’s the Problem with the DePuy Pinnacle?
According to a major study published in The Lancet, researchers examined over 400,000 hip replacement patients who underwent device implantation surgeries between 2003 and 2011. Out of the 400,000, over 30,000 received metal-on-metal implants – which consist of ball and cup made of materials such as chromium and cobalt. When compared with those that received hip implants made of other materials, such as ceramic or plastic, the metal-on-metal devices evinced a much higher failure rate. Specifically, over six percent of these devices failed, where a much small percentage failed for non-metal-on-metal devices.
Additionally, another recent study published in the British Medical Journal indicates that implant manufacturers such as DePuy were fully aware of the evidence linking metal-on-metal hip devices to serious adverse side effects. The report also provided that several thousands of people across the globe who received DePuy Pinnacle hip implants and other similar devices may have been exposed to dangerous amounts of toxic metals, due to wear and tear of these products.
DePuy Pinnacle in the News
In the first half of 2011, there were over 550 lawsuits filed against DePuy due to complications associated with its Pinnacle hip replacement system. As a result, most of these cases were ultimately consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation, or MDL, in the United States District for the Northern District of Texas, identified as In RE: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2244. The claims alleged in MDL No. 2244 assert that the Pinnacle hip replacement system was defectively designed by DePuy and also, were not the subject of proper public warnings about the potential adverse effects associated with the use of this device.
Lawyers Are Ready Now to Help You
It is crucial to speak with an attorney who is qualified to handle the various complexities and nuances associated with suing device manufacturers. Our law office can help victims of the DePuy Pinnacle and other metal-on-metal hip replacement implant devices recover monetary damages for costs due to medical treatment, pain and suffering, as well as lost wages. You certainly need an attorney on your side who has the experience necessary to help you get the compensation that you deserve.
DePuy Pinnacle Case Evaluation
Give us a call today to see if you or a loved one may be entitled to recover monetary damages from complications caused by metal-on-metal hip replacement implant manufacturers. Call attorney Ken Stern at 1-844-808-7529, or complete an online contact form for assistance.