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My DePuy Pinnacle Hip is Fine Right Now – Should I Wait to Undergo Revision Surgery?

Mar 27

Monday, March 27, 2017  RssIcon

March 27, 2017 - In the wake of the recent DePuy Pinnacle 6-person settlement for over $1 billion, those who have a DePuy Pinnacle hip probably have many important questions. Pinnacle recipients may wonder whether there will be a recall of the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant—like the DePuy ASR hip recall of 2010 and the subsequent settlement of thousands of ASR lawsuits.  A recent British Medical Journal article found that the Pinnacle hip implant has a high revision surgery rate due to high levels of cobalt and chromium particles released into the bloodstream as well as certain manufacturing and design problems.

The authors of the BMJ article blame “poor device engineering and design,” on the Pinnacle problems, and believe the safety and efficacy of the Pinnacle implants were exaggerated by DePuy. The failure rate of the Pinnacle hip implant is higher than the failure rates of other metal hip implants, and when the implants are removed, many of them show black metal-stained tissues. There are currently more than 8,400 Pinnacle hip lawsuits pending, with more bellwether cases being chosen.

Should I Have Revision Surgery if My Pinnacle Seems Fine?

For those whose Pinnacle hip has failed, or who have suffered serious side effects as a result of metal ions which have entered the bloodstream, the decision to have revision surgery may not be a difficult one. However, if you are a Pinnacle recipient whose hip device has not failed, and, as far as you know, has not caused any other health issues, should you have revisions surgery anyway? This can be a very difficult decision to make, particularly because revision surgery comes with its own set of risks.

Will Your Surgeon Remove Your Pinnacle Hip Implant If It Has Not Failed?

The purpose of Pinnacle hip revision surgery would typically be to relieve pain, to restore lost mobility, and/or to remove a loose or damaged Pinnacle hip implant device before the hip joint has suffered irreversible damage or you have suffered irreparable, adverse health effects. Generally speaking, surgeons are reluctant to remove a hip implant for pain relief, and will only do so when medication and changes in lifestyle have failed to alleviate the pain.

For hip implants which have been shown to be dangerous or have been recalled, due to problems with design, the decision to remove the implant shifts from the surgeon’s decision to the patient’s decision. Many of those implanted with what later turns out to be a dangerous hip device, simply want it out of their bodies in order to alleviate any worry about future problems. It can be difficult to know whether you will ever experience serious issues with your Pinnacle hip implant, or, in many cases, to know whether you have already suffered some level of injury, but are simply unaware of it yet. 

Thousands of Hip Revision Surgeries Performed Annually

Approximately 32,000 revision hip surgeries are performed in the United States annually—a number which increased significantly following the recall of the DePuy ASR and the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII hip devices. Revision of the femoral component of the hip implant is the most complex part of the surgery. Risks of revision surgery are similar to the risks involved with the original implantation, however there is usually a longer recovery period following a hip revision surgery. In the end, only you can make the decision about Pinnacle revision surgery after speaking with your physician. To determine your legal position, it can be extremely beneficial to speak to a knowledgeable Pinnacle hip implant attorney as soon as possible.

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