As lawsuits climb, J&J may have new hip trauma
CHICAGO, Thu Jul 12, 2012 – Johnson & Johnson faces a potentially more damaging and costly sequel to the $3 billion recall of its ASR all-metal artificial hips two years ago, one of the most expensive medical device failures in U.S. history.
A successor to ASR, the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip system has nearly 1,600 lawsuits pending in U.S. courts. Doctors who are tracking large groups of patients with both products estimate that more than 10 percent of the Pinnacle all-metal hips will have failed in the next two to three years.
Metal-on-metal hip implants were sold on being more durable than those made of other materials, such as polyethylene or ceramic. They are meant to last up to 15 years, but as controversy over all metal-on-metal implants heats up, fewer surgeons are using them.
A survey taken by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2010 showed 16 percent of surgeons were using metal-on-metal implants before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of potential problems. That number dropped to 10 percent since the FDA warning, and doctors say the number probably has dwindled further.
Many patients with the Pinnacle metal-on-metal device are experiencing the same problems as those who got the ASR product, including pain and swelling, limited mobility, and dislocation. Perhaps most concerning, some doctors say, is the high levels of cobalt and chromium in the bloodstream resulting from wear of the all-metal implants. Metallosis, as it is known, can lead to cardiovascular, neurological, renal and thyroid problems, in addition to destroying soft tissue, muscle and bone.
“We’re simply seeing the tip of the iceberg with metal-on-metal failures,” Dr Mary O’Connor, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, said of the entire class of metal-on-metal devices.
O’Connor said she does not use metal-on-metal hip implants because she has been concerned about metal poisoning for years.
- Biomet Hip Lawsuit – Biomet Magnum Hip Implant (earlsview.com)
- Insight: As lawsuits climb, J&J may have new hip trauma (oddonion.com)
- US Drug Watchdog Now Offers to Help All DePuy ASR and DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Recipients Get to the Best Possible Attorneys and Lists Symptoms of Hip Implant Failure (prweb.com)
- Stryker recalls two metal-on-metal hip products for fear of corrosion (earlsview.com)
- INSIGHT-As lawsuits climb, J&J may have new hip trauma – Reuters (drugstoresource.wordpress.com)
- FDA to study growing failure rate of metal hip devices – USATODAY.com (earlsview.com)
- US Drug Watchdog Now Calls All Metal Hip Implant Failures the Biggest Disaster Ever for up to 500,000 U.S. Citizens and Offers the Names of the Best Attorneys for Victims (prweb.com)
- Long-Term Health Risks Associated with Genotoxic Nanoparticles Released by Failing Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants (earlsview.com)
- DePuy Hip Lawsuit | DePuy ASR Hip Recall (earlsview.com)
- Hip resurfacing: A boon for Boomers or too risky? (earlsview.com)