Stryker® Hip Implant Recall
As of July 2012, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of medical equipment (Stryker® Corporation) has recalled two of its’ artificial hip implant systems.
The two implant systems involved in the recall are:
- Rejuvenate® Modular-Neck Stem sold from February 2009 to July 6, 2012
- ABG-II® Modular-Neck Stem sold from November 2009 to July 6, 2012.
Stryker® has sold approximately 20,000 of these devices worldwide!
These implant systems are prone to “fretting and corrosion”. This means that minute shards of the systems metallic ionic components (metal debris) can leach into the patients’ tissues, bones, and/or bloodstream.
The excessive release of this metal debris into the surrounding tissues can result in inflammation which can lead to immunological responses such as:
The metal debris that invades the joint space can lead to:
- Osteolysis (bone loss)
This metal debris contains also a certain type of metal called chromium. Chromium is safe when it is introduced into the body in small amounts at a time. It is even found in water and certain foods that we ingest. However, when it is released into the body through metal debris it is being dispersed at a high rate causing toxic levels of chromium to be absorbed into your bloodstream. This is called chromium toxicity.
Listed below are some common long-term side effects of chromium toxicity.
- Asthma and chronic bronchitis
- Renal failure and kidney damage
- Cancer of the lungs and sinus cavities
- Liver failure
- Ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding
- Heart attack and cardiovascular collapse
Can these devices be removed?
The removal of these devices is the only way to stop or slow the damage from the metal debris. This is done through revision surgery. Revision surgery is when your surgeon replaces the defective device with a different device that has been proven effective.
This may sound simple; although, it is far more complicated than your initial hip replacement surgery.
- It takes longer to complete the surgery
- There is an increased risk for complications
- The healing time is longer
- You will have to start physical therapy again
- Take even more time off from work
How could you possibly afford to start over?
The problem is, you probably can’t! That’s why Stryker® is voluntarily paying for these costs; however, you still need an attorney to help you get exactly what you need.
This has turned into a multi-district litigation (MDL) case because there is such a large amount of plaintiffs. This means that unlike a class-action lawsuit an MDL allows the plaintiffs to have the same flexibility that comes with individual lawsuits. Plaintiffs will file individual lawsuits which outline their specific medical needs.
These lawsuits will be combined into multiple federal courts which will allow attorneys to work on pretrial motions as a group. Once this is completed, each case will be heard separately before a judge and jury allowing each case to be decided on individual circumstances. The award will then be given to the individual plaintiff, not a group of plaintiffs.