September 13, 2016 - Are you one of the more than 20,000 patients who received a recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII metal hip device? If so, you may be aware of the Stryker hip settlement agreement, reached in November 2014. The settlement gave a Stryker hip settlement base award to those patients who had undergone Stryker hip revision surgery as a result of metallosis, which caused their implant to fail, or as a result of extremely high cobalt and chromium levels. These patients could also be entitled to Stryker hip settlement enhancements in addition to the base award, depending on the medical issues they suffered as a result of the implant and the subsequent revision surgery.
At the time the settlement was announced, only those who had undergone revision surgery by November 3, 2014, were eligible to take part in the settlement. Later, a judge ruled that some Stryker patients who underwent revision surgery after that date would also be eligible. An important caveat to this is that only those patients who had filed cases against Stryker would be eligible for this suspension of the statutes of limitations. For other Stryker patients, who have not undergone revision surgery and so far have suffered no ill effects from the recalled hip implant, the decision as to what to do can be an agonizing one.
What are the Chances Your Stryker Hip Will Fail?
As one of those patients, you may well wonder what you should do. What are the chances your recalled Stryker implant will fail in the future and you will be forced to undergo revision surgery? What are the chances you will develop one or more of the many serious symptoms associated with cobalt and chromium toxicity? What are the chances you will develop metallosis which causes your tissues and bones to die, chronic pain in the hip, groin and thigh, severe inflammation, and failure of your implant? There is no way to answer these questions definitively, unfortunately.
The failure rate of the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII has been called “higher than normal,” by Stryker executives. Independent studies have placed the failure rate as high as forty or fifty percent, although not all research backs up those figures. So, if there is a 50 percent possibility your Stryker device could fail or you could end up with serious metal toxicity, should you go ahead and have your implant removed? Some of the issues which could cause your recalled Stryker implant to fail may not be readily apparent. Some people have no overt symptoms associated with their implant, yet they could be suffering osteolysis or tissue and bone death.
Getting the Help You Need to Make a Decision
In order to know if this is happening, you may need to ask your physician to perform more advanced tests. The results of these tests could help you decide what to do about your Stryker implant. If the tests reveal you are, in fact, suffering from deteriorating bones and tissue, you and your physician may decide you should go ahead and schedule a Stryker hip revision surgery, despite the fact you have no symptoms. After speaking to your doctor, talking to an experienced Stryker hip lawyer can answer the remaining questions you have related to the Stryker hip settlement and how you could qualify under the terms of that settlement. While making a decision like this is difficult, it could well mean the difference in how your future unfolds.