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Hip Implant


The very first trial of more than 6,000 DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip lawsuits began with jury selection on Tuesday.  Yesterday, the parties gave opening statements to the jury.  During the plaintiff’s opening statement, jurors were told that Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy unit crossed the line in trying to convince doctors and surgeons that the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hips were safe and amounted to “marketing run amok“.  DePuy “didn’t tell people they were basically guinea pigs”, attorneys told jurors.

What’s wrong with the DePuy Pinnacle hip?

Injured Hip (iStockPhoto)Metal-on-metal hips have a critical problem that allows toxic metal particles to grind away as the metal components move against each other.  These particles can cause pain, swelling, and can poison surrounding tissue and result in necrosis or the killing of tissue surrounding the implant.  The metal particles can also be swept away to other areas of the body through the blood stream and lymph system.

A study from England found that metal-on-metal hips – regardless of make or model – failed early at 3-times the rate of other hip components.

In May 2010, the US FDA ordered all metal-on-metal hip manufacturers to study how frequently their metal-on-metal implants were failing and determine the health implications for patients.  Instead of completing the study, DePuy simply stopped selling the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hips in August 2013.

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© Copyright 2014 Brett A. Emison

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