November marked a monumental month for DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits. In just a few weeks, 260 more complaints were added to the federal multidistrict litigation based in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, bringing the official number to 3,000, according to a Master Case List update filed in court Nov. 30.

The DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics, and used as a total hip replacement. It was originally created to increase mobility and reduce pain in patients who already have damaged joints. Patients who have received this device claim to have experienced early hip failure, limping, swelling and inflammation, as well as pain in the groin, hip and leg.

Many have also suffered metallosis, a condition that stems from the metal components in the device rubbing together and shedding toxic particles into the patient’s bloodstream. In many cases, metallosis, or metal toxicity, affects the heart, causing victims chest pain and shortness of breath, the nerves, causing numbness, weakness, and change in vision, the kidney, which affects the patient’s urination habits and more.

The DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 by way of the agency’s 510(k) process, which only requires the manufacturer to prove the device in question is substantially similar to one that is already on the market.

Another device approved by this process is the DePuy ASR hip replacement, which was recalled in August 2010 for the metallosis, early hip failure and other severe injuries it caused patients. Many who were implanted with the DePuy ASR hip replacement have also had to undergo revision surgeries to remove the device.

In lieu of the mounting DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently investigating the safety and effectiveness of metal-on-metal hip replacements.

Published December 5, 2012 by