Metallosis is a great concern for patients who received DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants—and for good reason. The condition leads to elevated levels to toxic metal ions in a patient’s body, often resulting in complications that requires painful and difficult revision surgery. Metallosis is caused by the friction of the metal components of the hip implants, which releases metal debris into the bloodstream. The cobalt and chromium ions cause inflammatory reactions from the surrounding tissue.

Metallosis symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Inflammation
  • Loosening of the implant
  • Fracturing of the implant
  • Tissue and nerve damage.

The high levels of toxic metal ions inside a patient’s body may also lead to the formation of pseudotumors, dying tissues, and dislocation of the implant, as the tissue that holds the implant in place is weakened and damaged.

Certain patient populations, such as women, those of smaller statue, and the obese are at increased risk for metallosis.

In February 2012, the UK’s health regulatory agency issued guidance on how to monitor patients with metal-on-metal hip implants such as the DePuy Pinnacle hip implants, and advised chromium and cobalt blood testing to be part of the patient follow-up. The agency recommended that patients consider revision surgery if hip imaging results were abnormal, and/or if the metal ion levels in their bloodstream were 7 parts per billion or higher. Currently, there are no FDA regulated testing methods or data on what constitutes toxic or dangerous levels of cobalt and chromium in the bloodstream.

Revision surgery is often the only answer for patients suffering from metallosis from the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. The procedure is often expensive and complicated, especially as it involves operating on tissue that may already be damaged by metallosis.

Recently, a Texas man named Brucer Bernier filed a DePuy Pinnacle metallosis lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, the device’s manufacturer. Bernier received a Pinnacle hip replacement with an Ultamet/metal liner. He soon began experiencing severe symptoms of metal poisoning, including pain so severe that he could not walk without a cane. He is likely to seek revision surgery to remove the defective device.

He is among the thousands of patients who received a DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant and suffered from metallosis now seeking compensation for their injuries. If you suffered from symptoms of metallosis after receiving a DePuy Pinnacle all-metal hip replacement, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. To learn more, speak to a DePuy Pinnacle lawyer at our firm by calling (877) 779-1414.

Published October 18, 2012 by