Implant Failures of DePuy’s Pinnacle System Worries Patients
DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of healthcare product giant Johnson & Johnson, has been in legal battles for the past few years because of complaints regarding their hip implants, media sources say. This is in part due to claims by both patients and medical experts asserting that the company had been negligent in its responsibilities to adequately test their implants and inform the public, as well as government regulators, of the dangers inherent in their products.
Hip replacement surgery is one of the procedures claimed by companies, such as DePuy Orthopaedics, as being an important part in maintaining healthy function for elderly patients. They claim that our bones will grow weaker and eventually fail us the older we get. The company’s promoters say that, by providing a line of hip replacement implants, they can guarantee a life free of worry from the infirmity of growing old. The company’s implants are usually recommended for clients over the age of 60, but there have been cases where younger clients are voluntarily undergoing replacement or resurfacing due to the desire to live a fuller healthier lifestyle as they approach their later years sometimes because of the company’s aggressive sales campaign.
It seems that promise has, sadly, not been delivered. In the last five years DePuy has struggled to minimize its business losses while trying to battle legal claims that their hip implants were defective and the cause of serious injuries. The most prominent example of the problems DePuy faced was the recall of their XL ASR hip resurfacing and replacement implants in late 2010, which were found to be defective and the cause of severe complications such as metal ion toxicity, pain, infection, wounds and fractures related to the implant being dislocated, loosened and misaligned.
DePuy has recently come out with a new implant called the Pinnacle system which, after extensive testing, regulators in the UK and Japan did not approve of. In both countries medical experts have denounced the implant system as being prone to potential defects similar to the ASR system which would necessitate that 80% of patients who’ve already received this implant would require life-time monitoring for any possible complications as severe as the one’s reported with the ASR system.
On top of all the controversy, regulators say that DePuy may have known about the potential defects but continued to market them anyway, casting further doubt on the company’s credibility as a reliable manufacturer.
Numerous legal claims and complaints have already been filed against the company since the Pinnacle system was released, with some still pending from the debacle with the ASR system.