Though loosening is the most common issue reported about the DePuy Pinnacle, there are other concerns. A New York Times report published in 2010 highlighted a new risk with metal-on-metal devices. As the metal components rub against each other, metal particles may flake off and enter the patients blood stream, causing metal toxicity. Though just one to three percent of recipients of metal-on-metal devices are expected to be affected, with an estimated number of surgeries using metal-on-metal devices approaching 100,000 every year, there are thousands of people who could be affected.
Before the advent of metal-on-metal devices, hip replacement devices were fitted with a polyethylene liner in the socket portion of the joint. Metal-on-metal systems utilize a metal socket and are designed to be more durable than the typical hip replacement devices that were designed to last 12-15 years before requiring replacement. These newer devices were developed as a product that could be marketed to younger patients that want to maintain an active post-surgery lifestyle.
Although metal toxicity is a serious problem for anyone who contracts the condition, it can be completely cured if caught early and promptly treated. Doctors will typically test for the condition by performing an analysis of a hair sample and testing for the presence of heavy metals. If abnormal substances are found in the sample, then the treatment will typically entail administering medication to flush the metals out of the patients body. High doses of Vitamin C is commonly used for this purpose.
If you have experienced pain, loosening, or any of the symptoms of metal toxicity that you think may be from your DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement system, you may have a case against the medical device manufacturer. Prior to determining whether or not you will have a claim against DePuy, you should speak to a legal professional. The attorneys at the Rottenstein Law Group have the experience and the expertise to help guide you through your potential DePuy Pinnacle lawsuit.