DePuy Pinnacle, Other Metal-on-Metal Hip Devices, Show Increasing Revision Rates

January 25th, 2018 by Cutter Law

A new study calls into question the durability of metal-on-metal hip replacement devices, including devices made by DePuy Orthopaedics, suggesting that over time the number of revision surgeries required by patients who received certain devices has increased. The findings come after a federal jury in Dallas awarded six plaintiffs almost $250 million in their DePuy lawsuit. DePuy still faces more than 9,000 claims that patients suffered harm and early hip implant failure rates after receiving a Pinnacle hip implant.

Study Shows More Patients Require Revision Surgery

According to researchers, all metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasties (hip replacements) showed an increase in revision rates between those done from 2007 and 2012 and those done between 2004 and 2006. Although researchers set out to examine the DePuy Pinnacle, they found that all primary metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasties showed an increase from 2007 onwards.

To reach their conclusion, published in The Bone and Joint Journal in January 2018, researchers examined data taken from the National Joint Registry for England and Wales. Specifically, they examined the results of metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasties involving the DePuy Pinnacle compared with other metal-on-metal hip devices. Results compared devices based on the year of initial operation and compared the DePuy Pinnacle revision rates with those of other hip implants.

The five-year revision rates were significantly increased for all primary MoM THAs undertaken from 2007 onwards,” researchers wrote.

They noted, however, that the increase could be attributed to increased surveillance of hip implant devices and a lowered threshold for revision.

Revision rates refer to the number of patients who must undergo revision surgery to remove and replace their hip implant. Revision surgery is often more complicated than the initial implant surgery. Metal-on-metal hip implants have been linked to an increased number of revision surgeries due to early failure of the devices. This early failure is allegedly attributed to wear and tear on the devices causing metallic debris to be absorbed by the patient’s surrounding tissue and blood stream.

DePuy Lawsuit Results in $247 Million Award for Plaintiffs

As researchers look into the revision rates associated with DePuy hip replacement devices and other metal-on-metal hip implants, one DePuy lawsuit resulted in an award of $247 million for six plaintiffs.

In November 2017, a federal jury ordered Johnson & Johnson and DePuy (a subsidiary of J&J) to pay $247 million to six plaintiffs who alleged they were harmed by DePuy Pinnacle implants. In reaching its decision, the jury found that the DePuy implants were defectively designed and that DePuy failed to warn patients about the risks.

The six plaintiffs alleged they developed tissue and bone damage and other injuries and further alleged the Pinnacle hip replacement device was falsely marketed because DePuy claimed it lasted longer than other hip implants.

Although the first trial to go to court resulted in a victory for DePuy and J&J, three subsequent trials resulted in awards to the plaintiffs, including a $500 million award to five plaintiffs—which was later decreased to $150 million—and a $1 billion award to six plaintiffs that was later cut to $543 million.

The DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement device is no longer available on the market.

According to court documents, as of January 16, 2018, there were 9,313 DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits consolidated for pretrial proceedings.

DePuy Hip Replacement Attorney 

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a DePuy metal-on-metal hip implant, contact Cutter Law to speak with an experienced attorney today. Our attorneys can advise you of your rights and answer your questions. We are committed to advocating for you so you receive compensation for any harm you’ve experienced.

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