Patients who relied on Stryker hip implants may be owed compensation for the numerous adverse health effects caused by these metal-on-metal devices. Although Stryker has since recalled several models of its metal-on-metal hip replacements, the company has paid over $1 billion in settlements to patients who suffered broken bones, severe pain, and underwent additional surgeries as a result of the problematic devices.
Recalled Stryker Hip Implants That Have Caused Injuries to Patients
Stryker, a major manufacturer of hip ball and joint replacement implants, underwent several major recalls of its devices over the past decade. The voluntary recall came after the company received reports of complications with certain Stryker hip implant systems, including:
- ABG II®. In 2012, Stryker announced a recall of both the Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stems due to increased reports of inflammation in the tissues surrounding the implant. Further complications included the grinding together of the device's head and neck joints—known as fretting—which allows tiny metal fragments to enter the patient’s bloodstream. Corrosion of the device may also release toxic metal ions from the cobalt and chromium components into the patient’s body, causing metal poisoning, or metallosis.
- LFIT V40®. The LFIT V40 CoCr Femoral Head is an interchangeable metal ball that can be combined with other Stryker femoral stems to form a total hip replacement device. The LFIT V40 connects to the femoral hip stem using a metal trunnion, which may corrode or fail suddenly, spontaneous hip dislocation. Stryker recalled its LFIT V40 implants in 2016.
- Accolade® hip implants. The Accolade TMZF is made of the same metal alloy used in the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip components, giving them the same risk of corrosion and fretting. The LFIT V40 femoral heads are often used in conjunction with Accolade TMZF and Accolade 2 stems, increasing the chances of injury and device failure.
Long-Term Effects of Receiving a Faulty Stryker Hip Implant
Even through patients no longer receive these device implants, those who have received them often cope with a wide range of permanent health effects, such as:
- Cobalt poisoning. Metal poisoning from cobalt and chromium can have potentially deadly side effects, including heart disease, hypothyroidism, blindness, loss of hearing, and neurological damage.
- Bone loss. Fretting may cause bone fractures and dislocation around the implant, while metal poisoning can cause loss of bone density.
- Mobility problems. Sudden device failure may cause lost range of motion, immobility, inability to stand or sit for long periods, or the inability to walk without a cane, walker, or assistive devices.
- Revision surgery. Patients may have to undergo a second surgery to replace a defective device. This procedure carries the same risks as the original surgery, but is less likely to be effective if the patient has suffered erosion of the femur, pelvis, or hip joint.
Warning Signs That a Hip Replacement Device is Failing
Patients often don't know they've received a faulty hip device until they begin having pain around the hip that causes difficulty walking. This pain may come on suddenly, or develop gradually due to loosening and inflammation. If the head and neck of the device separate, a patient can suffer total hip failure, a debilitating and extremely painful condition. An X-ray can evaluate the placement and performance of the hip device, and is often the first step to determining whether the implant is causing problems.
Unfortunately, there are often no immediate symptoms of metal poisoning, allowing the condition to progress until it's done widespread damage. Patients may not realize something is wrong until surrounding tissues become inflamed or systemic problems in the body cannot be otherwise explained. Blood testing can definitively detect the presence of increased metal ions in the bloodstream.
Ask for Expert Assistance
Not only can hip implant failure cause significant medical and rehabilitation costs, it can also result in devastating losses for patients and their families. Patients who relied on a hip replacement to increase their mobility may suffer permanent impairment, affecting their ability to earn a living and decreasing their quality of life.
If you or someone you love received a Stryker hip implant, we will fight for compensation on your behalf and won't collect any fees until your case is resolved. Simply fill out the contact form on this page today to set up your consultation with our Florida medical device injury attorneys.