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One Man's Battle with a DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement

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Washington, DCHis name is Juergen Schaberick and his life has been turned upside down thanks to the DePuy Pinnacle. His failure to bounce back from what would ordinarily be a routine hip replacement procedure has cost the man his job, his health insurance and his livelihood.

In an e-mail to LawyersandSettlements blogger Hunter West, Schaberick recounts the circumstances that have led to the precarious situation he is in today.

He recounts the surgery during which he received the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement on one of his hips two days prior to Christmas 2008. "For the first 3 months after surgery I was unable to lie down straight in bed, only changing certain positions hourly; sitting in a recliner allowed me to bear severe and violent pain," he wrote in the fall of last year. "Actually, to the day (almost 2 years after surgery), I am not able to sit, stand, or lie down for more than a couple of hours, rather less. Even when I don't move at all, severe and violent pain kicks in."

His surgeon had advocated patience, offering the observation that full recovery can take as long as a year for some.

Cut to January 2010. It's a little over a year after surgery for his hip replacement from DePuy Orthopedics. At the time his surgeon brought up the possibility of a bone marrow transplant that might help the metal implant seat with the bone—but then just as quickly advised against the procedure, "as [the surgeon] knew of only a couple of cases and they weren't successful. On top of it I could be on crutches for another 10 to 12 months."

Two years on, Schaberick is still feeling the effects—but there is little he can do. Upon losing his job due to his extended (and unexpected) leave of absence, he also lost his health insurance benefits. For that reason, he says, his surgeon is unavailable to him for even a consultation due to the requirement of a $160 uninsured patient fee.

Schaberick wrote that he could not afford the fee.

It should be noted, according to Schaberick, that the DePuy Pinnacle ACE tabular system that he has since confirmed resides in his body, "is not under the official recall," he said. However, Schaberick goes on to say that the DePuy Pinnacle system "is also a metal on metal, and many articles/blog posts by doctors, lawyers and patients talk about the same symptoms I suffer from. Supposedly, the [US Food and Drug Administration, FDA] has more than 300 patient complaints on that device," he says.

Schaberick writes that in addition to losing his health insurance benefits along with his job, his application for unemployment insurance benefits had been turned down. Meanwhile, his health issues continue…

"I cannot get in and outside of a vehicle without terrible pain in my right leg and right hip. I cannot get up from sitting or laying down positions without terrible pain in my left and right leg and left and right hip.

"I can only walk very short distances without severe pain starting inside my right leg and right hip. I move and walk very slowly, because I am afraid to fall with every single step I do…

"I have to sit down in order to get dressed."

And that's only part of it.

Schaberick writes that he is seeking legal assistance with regard to his Pinnacle hip replacement. On December 14 of last year, he filed an official complaint with the FDA.


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Posted by

I had a ceramic on plastic pinnacle 6/28/2011-

I had 10 dislocations and then a revision.

it took 4 years
and all I own, my career and my wife and kids and I have been near homeless all this time. Mine was a pinnacle ceramic on plastic, not ceramic on metal as it says.

Tim Petri


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