Already facing thousands of Law Suits arising from the DePuy ASR hip replacement device recall Johnson & Johnson is facing another potential legal nightmare involving its metal-on-metal version of its pinnacle hip replacement system. The Company and its DePuy unit now face Defending some 1,600 metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits over its pinnacle device, all of which allege the implant caused metallosis and other injuries similar to those seen with the re-called ASR hip replacement devices. Johnson & Johnson has denied that there are any problems with the Pinnacle.
Medical sources have estimated that more than 10% of the metal-on-metal Pinnacle Hips will have failed in the next 2-3 years. The DePuy ASR hip replacement devices were recalled in August 2010 after they were found to be failing in about 12% of patients within just 5 years of implantation.
Problems reported by patients with failing DePuy Pinnacle hip implants are identical to those experienced by ASR hip replacement victims. In addition to pain, swelling and dislocation Doctors are seeing all-metal Pinnacle hip implant patients with high levels of metal ions in their blood. This can result in metallosis, a reaction that results in tissue and bone loss, the formation of pseudotumors, long term heart, kidney, nerve and thyroid problems.
Since the DePuy ASR hip implant recall, the entire class of metal-on-metal hip implants has come under scrutiny. A number of studies have found evidence that the devices can shed dangerous amounts of chromium and cobalt into patient’s bloodstreams. The American Health Authorities have called for new warning labels for all-metal hip implants, including warnings regarding their association with the development of pseudotumors and high levels of metal ions in patient’s blood.
Speaking today about these figures, Liam Moloney, Personal Injury Solicitor from Naas Co Kildare who is acting for a number of patients who received the DePuy ASR hip implant device said ‘’ the Irish Medicines Board should immediately confirm today how many patients in Ireland have received the DePuy Pinnacle hip device. The Board should instruct all Orthopaedic Surgeons who used this device in their surgeries to contact their patents so that they can have up to date MRI scans and blood tests done to establish whether the devices are functioning safely or not. I would urge any patient who has received a DePuy Pinnacle hip device to contact their Doctors immediately so that these up to date tests can be done. They should also seek legal advice if they are having any pain, swelling and dislocation or if there are high metal ion levels in their blood’’.