The latter include the DePuy ASR and the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Systems that were recalled almost a year ago. The DePuy Pinnacle, at 150,000 units having outsold the ASR and ASR XL Acetabular devices, has also been associated with an undesirable failure rate.
Hip implants are designed to last upwards of 20 years under normal conditions. In other words, hip implant patients may not qualify to run marathons, but normal movements such as walking would not be expected to adversely stress a hip implant and initiate an early failure.
However, the DePuy hip implants—including DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement—have been known to require corrective surgery within five years or at the 25 percent mark of what would otherwise represent the implant's normal useful life span.
The Pinnacle, like the ASR devices, features a metal-on-metal design that allegedly has resulted in the release of minute metal shavings from the device into the patient's body. Infections can ensue, together with the release of toxins into a patient's bloodstream.
READ MORE DEPUY PINNACLE LEGAL NEWS
With the aging baby boomers, together with a willingness on the part of surgeons to allow hip implants for younger patients suffering from the early onset of osteoarthritis, hip implant procedures are on the rise. The need for revision surgeries so soon after the initial implant procedure (in some cases, as early as 18 months) only puts added stress on the nation's health care system, patient finances and livelihoods as patients face yet another long recovery time.
DePuy Orthopaedics is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The MDL hearing on Pinnacle hip replacement will be heard by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 16.