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Stryker Hip Replacement

Stryker has voluntarily recalled and discontinued the manufacturing and distribution of two of their hip replacement models: the Stryker Rejuvenate and the Stryker ABG II.  Stryker chose to recall these models in July 2012 after concerns from similar competitor models were made public.  For example, Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary company, DePuy Orthopaedics, had their models recalled.  Since the DePuy recall, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted studies and issued warnings for the hip implants.

The issues surrounding hip implants stems from complications caused by metal or metal components, involved in the device mechanics.  Hip replacements are not designed to last indefinitely- most are marketed to last between 10 and 25 years before revision surgery is required.  Hip replacement implants are typically made of either metal, plastic or ceramic.  However, almost all implants have parts and joints with metallic properties.  Both the Stryker Rejuvenate and the ABG II models are ceramic, but there is a metal neck and stem joint component.   In 2012 alone, the FDA had several formal reports of complications with both metal and ceramic hip replacement units.

Metal-on-metal hip replacement models were originally accepted as revolutionary devices because they are resistant to wear and reduce the chances of hip dislocations.  In reality, patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements have reported side effects including: hip fractures, hip pain, grinding and limited motion of the hip joint.  Additionally, the models are associated with a higher early failure rate; some patients need revision surgery after only five years.  Patients fitted with metal-on-metal models are at an increased risk for metallosis, which is an adverse tissue reaction.  Metallosis can lead to bloodstream and surrounding tissue damages, including harm to muscle, bone, lymph nodes, spleen, liver and kidneys.

These metal mechanisms have the potential to cause “fretting” or “corrosion”.  “Fretting” occurs when mechanical parts are not tightly secured and even tiny movements cause wear at the contact points.  “Corrosion” occurs when the metal interacts chemically with the body fluids and the metal components typically become oxidized (rusted).   When fretting and/or corrosion take place, metal particles are transferred into the blood stream and cause tissue reactions causing pain and swelling.  Excessive metal debris in the blood can lead to toxicity, tissue death, pain, allergic reaction and bone loss and require revision surgery.  In fact, systemic metal toxicity can result in permanent neurological damage if the metal contaminate is not removed sufficiently early.

Stryker’s hip replacement models were originally marketed in answer to these complications associated with metal-on-metal devices.  Their ceramic models were promoted to younger patients, claiming to fit individual patients better and to be longer lasting without the negative metal effects.  However, even the smallest amounts of metal can cause toxicity so even Stryker’s ceramic models were subject to the side effects of metal-on-metal devices, due to the small levels of metal in the ceramic components.

If you or a loved one have had hip replacement surgery and suffer from persistent pain, please contact our offices immediately.  It is in your best interest to determine which model your surgeon has implanted, since not all Stryker hip replacement models have been recalled.  Also, several patients have been falsely told that there case would not qualify for a lawsuit, since the current litigation is for metal-on-metal devices only.  Therefore, even if you have sought legal assistance regarding your hip replacement in the past, please call our offices and we will gladly arrange a consultation.

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