The possibility of being permanently confined in a wheelchair is now being faced by a man from Philadelphia, leading news reports say, after he underwent hip revision surgery. The man filed a complaint in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia with claims against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics. The plaintiff has had a hip revision done to replace the damaged hip implant.

However, he was informed thereafter that he might not be able to walk properly and may be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Now he is claiming that the manufacturer is liable of the damages done by its devices and is raring to receive payment for damages.


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Pinnacle Plaintiff Sues DePuy, Faces Confinement to Wheelchair From Injuries

With the breakthroughs in technology, innovations are introduced and that includes metal-on-metal implants. Hip implants are among one of the pioneers in the field that can benefit those with severe hip problems especially the elderly. With hip deterioration, the need to find a prosthetic device for the diseased hip joints that could withstand the wear and tear overtime is on the rise. The goal is to make devices that can be permanent to avoid revision surgery hence saving time, money and effort. However, errors cannot be avoided like the issues the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement system is facing. In fact, you may want to look at this DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement system report made by the Food and Drug Administration.

What is a Metal-on-metal Hip Device?

Metal-on-metal Hip Device is among one of the 4 device options currently available in the US for total hip replacement. The device is made up of metal with the ball, stem and shell as parts. Titanium and Cobalt-chrome are two most commonly used metals in metal-on-metal devices. There is no report on which metal is better but cobalt-chrome is known to be used for almost 65 years on orthopaedic devices with less reports of allergies and/or rejections. When it was first introduced in the US in 2002, it was considered as a huge breakthrough. Cobalt-chrome was the metal used in making the firstmetal-on-metal device.

Some companies like DePuy designed their metal-on-metal device to have an appeal on the youth and the active because of the durability.

Advantages of a Metal-on-metal Hip Device

Metal-on-metal devices are considered the most durable and can last for a long time if given proper care. Metal-on-metal device has  a number of advantages such as the following:
  • Greater freedom of activity
  • Less chances of being dislocated
  •  Less total material removed (compared to other devices) when there is friction between the ball and socket
  • Believed to last a relative longer period of time (at least 15 years) so a revision surgery or another hip replacement won’t be necessary
Concerns on Metal-on-metal Devices

Though it has benefits, the cons were also raised regarding metal-on-metal devices because some can do harm to the individual. Among the concerns raised is the development of metal toxicity as a result of metal particles wearing off due to friction upon movement. Over time, the metal particles can be a possible cause of injury to the bone and the tissues around and this phenomenon is called adverse local tissue reaction (ALTR). This phenomenon may be the cause of loosening of the implants which may need revision surgery. Such reports were made by individuals who filed a DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit.


The human hip joint is naturally formed by the top of the thigh bone, called the femur, meeting the socket of the pelvic bone, called the acetabulum. The top of the femur naturally fits into the acetabulum since it is shaped like a ball. The bones are also assisted by the cartilage the hip bone has, the cartilage cushions and protects the bones.  The most common reason someone can choose to undergo hip replacement surgery is hip arthritis, this is were the cartilage is worn down to where the bones inside the hip begin to rub against each other, causing a person pain.

Hip replacement surgery is normally the next logical step when hip arthritis begins to set in. Hip Replacement surgery is done to over 270,000 people each year, these surgeries are done to relieve pain, return mobility, and remove stiffness from injured hips of these patients. The hip replacement surgery happens in two parts, first the top of the femur or femoral stem is removed and replaced with an artificial ball, afterwards the acetabulum is replaced with an artificial shell where the ball will be placed.These two artificial parts are meant to simulate the body’s natural movement as closely as possible.

It is expected as with any surgery that there will be a short recovery time as the body heals and starts to adapt to the new artificial implants.  Some bodies however can actually reject the implants and cause more pain to the patient.  Implant rejection is not the only side effect one needs to look out for during surgery, other common side effects to surgery include: bone dislocation, leg length discrepancy, failure to improve all pain, bone fracture, change in component position, infection, and even loosening and dislodging of the implant.

However, once surgery is done and the body has healed from the procedure there are also other potentially harmful side effect the patient needs to look out for.  However, failure of the hip replacement system itself is what the patient needs to be most wary of.  A prime example of this is the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement system, which is a newer hip replacement system by DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., this hip replacement system has a 15% failure rate amongst its recipients, which is unusually high.

The high failure rate of the DePuy Pinnacle Hip replacement system has actually caused many of the injured to file a DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit against DePuy.  If you are a recipient of a Pinnacle Hip replacement system and think it is starting to fail you should visit a DePuy Pinnacle Lawyer about your legal options.  Many Lawyers will give a free consultation and usually do not charge unless your case receives compensation.