DePuy PINNACLE Hip
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Truth: The PINNACLE hip is a metal-on-metal hip implant, which is supposed to last longer than plastic or ceramic hip implants.
Truth: Many patients found that their PINNACLE hip replacements were failing, despite the company’s claims that the hip would last longer.
Truth: These patients had to undergo revision surgery to replace their hip implants and experienced other complications.
The PINNACLE hip implant by DePuy was supposed to be a longer-lasting alternative to other types of hip implants. Its metal-on-metal design was meant to be more durable than the plastic or ceramic models and be less likely to loosen. However, many patients began to experience failures with their PINNACLE hip implants.
Joint replacement failure is painful and can cause injury. In addition, the only way to treat it is to have further surgeries to correct it, often requiring a full replacement of the hip implant. If you have experienced this or any other complications from your PINNACLE hip implant, don’t delay. Contact us now for a free consultation and get the justice you deserve.
The PINNACLE hip is a metal-on-metal hip implant used in hip replacement surgeries. It is designed to replace the ball-and-socket joint of the hip. The socket is a part of the pelvic bone, while the ball is the top of the femur, or thigh bone. In a hip replacement, the artificial joint consists of two components: both the ball and the socket. In the PINNACLE hip replacement, both components are made of metal.
The PINNACLE hip replacement is manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics. It is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which acquired the company in 1998. DePuy Orthopaedics, along with DePuy Spine, DePuy Mitek, and Codman, forms DePuy Synthes, which is a part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Group.
DePuy Orthopaedics manufactures medical devices intended to reconstruct joints and bones that are damaged by disease or traumatic injury.
A metal-on-metal (or MoM) implant is one in which both the ball and the socket of the replacement joint are metal. Metal is more durable than other materials, so it was expected to increase the life expectancy of the hip replacement. In addition, another advantage of the metal-on-metal hip replacement was that the ball component was larger than in implants using other materials. This was expected to increase stability and prevent dislocation.
No matter what the injury or disease, hip replacement usually isn’t the first option. It’s only after other medical treatments haven’t worked that doctors recommend a hip replacement. The signs that indicate a hip replacement could help are:
It’s important to first determine if it is, in fact, the hip joint that is causing the issue. Chronic pain can be caused by the back or other areas of the body, in which case a hip replacement wouldn’t solve the problem.
Doctors usually try to treat hip pain with the following options:
Patients are more likely to experience complications of a hip replacement if they have any of the following pre-existing conditions:
Other factors that could potentially contribute to complications include smoking or being overweight.
All hip replacements come with some risk of complications, regardless of type, brand, or the materials used. Some complications that can occur during the surgery are:
Other complications and symptoms can occur later, even months or years after the surgery. These complications can include:
The risk of device wear and tear was supposed to be decreased with metal-on-metal hip implants. However, no type of hip implant can completely eradicate device wear. In addition, the risk of other complications was still possible.
In addition to the other possible side-effects of a hip replacement, metal-on-metal hip implants carry their own risks and complications, however. Metal-on-metal implants such as the DePuy PINNACLE hip replacement can give off particles of debris. In addition, they can corrode, which give off ions (for example, cobalt and chromium) and debris that, then, can enter into the space that’s around the implant, or even into the bloodstream.
Signs to look out for that a complication has arisen include:
There is also some risk of seemingly unrelated medical conditions, including:
If someone with a hip replacement is experiencing any of these symptoms, the first step is to consult with a doctor. Any one of the symptoms on the list above could indicate a failure of a hip implant, which could require further surgeries, called revisions, to correct. There is a risk of further bone loss with each revision surgery.
Doctors can also run a variety of tests to see if patients with metal-on-metal hip implants like the Depuy PINNACLE hip replacement has caused metal ions to enter the bloodstream or contaminate the joint tissue. These tests include:
The metal ion testing may not be as accurate as any of the soft tissue imaging methods, because the blood sample could be contaminated with metal ions in the process of collecting and processing the sample.
The FDA issued a study of all metal-on-metal hip replacements in 2011 in order to monitor any adverse effects that patients with a hip replacement like the DePuy PINNACLE hip may be experiencing. The FDA then released a statement in 2013 with its findings, which include the concerns listed on the FDA website.
With every type of hip replacement, including the metal-on-metal, there is a risk of failure. The DePuy PINNACLE hip was supposed to be longer-lasting than the other types because it was metal-on-metal. However, patients began to complain of the PINNACLE hip failing, including making reports to the FDA about its failure. After their PINNACLE hip implants failed, many patients sued Johnson & Johnson for their claims that the PINNACLE hip would last longer due to being a metal-on-metal hip implant, claiming that the company had misrepresented the product and failed to warn patients of what the risks were.
A hip replacement failure occurs either when the hip implant becomes dislocated from the pelvis or when the component parts of the hip implant are loosened from each other. A hip implant failure can be confirmed via X-ray by a doctor.
While it may be more difficult at first to detect a complication such as metal ions entering the bloodstream, the symptoms of a hip replacement failure are usually more immediately obvious. These symptoms usually involve difficulty walking or chronic pain in the affected hip joint. More symptoms include:
Because the DePuy PINNACLE hip is a metal-on-metal hip replacement implant, it carries all of the same risks as any metal-on-metal hip implant. DePuy is currently facing lawsuits over defects in their PINNACLE hip that allege the company had produced a defective product that resulted in numerous failures requiring further surgeries that have a long, painful, and difficult recovery period for the patient.
The complaints against Johnson & Johnson for the PINNACLE Hip were that the hip implant failed due to design flaws. This failure caused tissue death and bone loss around the joint with the hip replacement, as well as other injuries, and necessitated revisions, or more surgeries to replace the hip implant. The patients claimed that the company had failed to adequately warn them of the risks involved in using the DePuy PINNACLE hip.
The first lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson over failures of the DePuy PINNACLE hip was in 2014. The patients alleged that Johnson & Johnson had falsely promoted the DePuy PINNACLE hip as being a longer-lasting alternative to the hip implants that were made of either plastic or ceramic.
The company won that case, but subsequent lawsuits have proven more successful for the plaintiffs. In March of 2016, the plaintiffs were awarded $500 million by a jury in Texas, although that amount was later reduced to $150 million. In 2017, six plaintiffs were awarded $247 million in damages by a jury in Dallas, which was the third successful case of its kind against Johnson & Johnson. In March of that same year, plaintiffs in California were awarded $1 billion, which was later dropped to $543 million.
If you have a DePuy PINNACLE hip implant and have either experienced complications or have had to undergo revision surgery because the implant failed, you can ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not you should sue:
Consult with a highly experienced Farah & Farah attorney today to determine the strength of your case. The consultation is completely free and there is no cost to you unless the case is successful.
Co-counsel will be associated on these cases.