Metal-on-metal devices, such as the DePuy Pinnacle and the DePuy ASR hip replacement devices, were supposed to revolutionize hip replacement surgery. Patients who received the now-recalled DePuy ASR hip replacement devices, however, might argue that the hip implant was more pain than it was worth.
Some patients who received the DePuy ASR have filed lawsuits, alleging they were not adequately warned about the high failure rate of the implant device—reportedly around 12 or 13 percent, although some critics say the failure rate could become much higher than that as more time passes. According to the British Orthopaedic Association and the British Hip Society, the actual failure rate of the ASR XL Acetabular system could be as high as 21 percent after four years and 49 percent after six years. Hip replacement devices are typically expected to last around 10 to 15 years. With each revision surgery, the risk of complications increases, as does the recovery time.
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Whether or not the DePuy Pinnacle will suffer the same fate as the ASR Acetabular system remains to be seen. So far, concerns have been raised that the implant can come loose, requiring revision surgery. In 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reportedly received 548 adverse event reports regarding the DePuy Pinnacle. No statement has been issued as to whether those adverse events were caused by a defect in the Pinnacle or by errors that occurred during implantation surgery.