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Metallosis: A Problem for DePuy Pinnacle Clients

by Gregory Fraser

After nearly 1300 complaints since November last year with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the DePuy Pinnacle may be facing the same fate with his brother ASR Hip Implant – a product recall. Most of the reports are about an unexplainable hip pain, possibly suggesting metallosis on the hip area. While proves to be a less invasive and less burdensome procedure, there are some conditions where a hip replacement is the only option.

Metallosis is a medical condition due to the collection of metal particles in the soft tissues of the body. This is a very typical complication due to the presence of a metal-on-metal device inside a person’s body. Device like a defective DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement might put you at such situation when it is installed in your system. The friction produced by the rubbing of the 2 metal components of this device cast off tiny bits of metallic substance As these bits of metal ions collect on the nearby tissues, the body is then activated. The body’s reaction, particularly the immune system, has been theorized to cause the inflammation of the surrounding tissue.

Usually, metallosis manifests the following symptoms:

  • Pain around the affected area – Problem when walking
  • Pseudo-tumors (resembles a mass of inflamed cells or tumors but are actually an accumulation of fluids)
  • A visible rash that implies necrosis (premature death of cells or body tissue)
  • Osteolysis or the dissolution or degeneration of the bone surrounding the implant
  • Implant tends to unbind
  • Elevated levels of cobalt and/or chromium in the blood

The manifestations of metallosis may also suggest other concerns such as fracture of the surrounding bones of the implant or the dislocation of the components of the implant. Unfortunately, metallosis might predispose you to more adverse effects. Like in the case of too much cobalt and/or chromium levels in the blood which could result in critical neurological illnesses or more seriously cancer.

The only treatment to prevent further sloughing or metallic ions to the body is the revision surgery. The problem, however, the extent of damage on the surrounding tissue due to metallosis might reduce the chances of a successful revision surgery. Thus early detection and correction of the problem is necessary to avoid the more unfavorable events to occur. Even the slightest symptom may need doctor’s attention. Moreover, for legal concerns, a lawsuit may be filed if you have strong grounds that you have sustained harm from the use of this product.

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