The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP has filed a lawsuit alleging that a metal-on-metal version of the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant caused pain and multiple dislocations in an Alabama woman. DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, brought about safety concerns over all-metal hip implants when they recalled 93,000 ASR systems in 2010.
According to Parker Waichman’s press release, the plaintiff received her DePuy Pinnacle hip implant in February 2009, suffering from pain and multiple dislocations as a result. The case was filed on May 10th in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, where other similar suits are being consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL. 2244).
Metal-on-Metal Hips: An Industry Issue
The lawsuit alleges that the Pinnacle causes the same problems as DePuy’s ASR devices. According to data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, the recalled implants were failing at a rate of 13 percent (1 in every 8 patients) in five years. Since then, experts have realized that the issue is common among almost all metal-on-metal implants, particularly those with large diameter heads (greater than 36mm). The primary problem arises from metallic debris generated by the implant, which can result in:
- Tissue death
- Bone loss
- Lack of mobility
In some cases, the complications may lead to revision surgery and the implant is removed.
Last May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked 21 manufacturers to conduct postmarket studies assessing the dangers of metal ions released from metal-on-metal hip implants. On June 27th and 28th, the agency’s Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel will convene to discuss the benefits to risk ratio of the devices.