Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Evidence on Hip Implant Revision Rate Is Published

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Evidence on Hip Implant Revision Rate Is Published

Article excerpt

NORTH East doctors have published evidence of an "unacceptably high revision rate" for a hip implant that has been the subject of a multi-million pound US lawsuit.

Almost 12,000 Britons have received the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant made by DePuy, part of Johnson & Johnson, according to official joint registry data.

Now researchers say they have operated on patients with "black tissue" caused by "high levels of chromium and cobalt" and that patients have suffered pain.

DePuy was forced to recall a different implant (the ASR) in 2010 after the devices were linked to muscle and bone damage and neurological issues.

In March this year, Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a Texas federal jury to pay around 500 million US dollars (PS343m) to five people who said they were injured by the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants.

The jury decided the Pinnacle hips were defectively designed and that DePuy had failed to warn the public about their risks.

Johnson& Johnson has said the company will appeal against that verdict. Thousands more people have launched action against the company.

Dr David Langton, from the University Hospital of North Tees, who led the latest study, said his team had told DePuy in the UK, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), of problems with the Pinnacle over several years. He said: "These Pinnacle implants were advised for younger patients who were very active.

"We have found that they fail at a higher rate than conventional ones but they fail in a much nastier way.

"You get very high levels of chromium and cobalt around the hip and that can go into the bloodstream. There can be black metal-stained tissue. The Pinnacle was put into people in lot bigger numbers than the ASR - up to about 500,000 people worldwide.

"What we've found is that some of our patients have come back with lots of pain. The implants have then been taken out by us.

"In total myself, I've looked at between 150 and 200 Pinnacle implants. …

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