Many recipients of the Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant
have been dismayed to find they may have the same sort of serious health issues as recipients of metal-on-metal implants. The Rejuvenate was recalled in July of 2012 with Stryker stating there was the risk of fretting and corrosion at the neck juncture. That fretting and corrosion can lead to the shearing away of microscopic metal ions which then lodge in the surrounding tissues or enter the bloodstream. When the metal finds its way into the tissues surrounding the implant, significant levels of pain can result in some patients. Others may experience little pain following their Rejuvenate hip implant until later on.
Levels of Pain
Even though the levels of cobalt and chromium are building up in the patient’s system and tissue necrosis is occurring they may experience no pain or may simply attribute any pain experienced to advancing age or other health issues. The problem lies in the fact that the Rejuvenate has been recalled, and recalled for a very specific reason so even though you may currently be experiencing no pain, you still must take action. Some twenty-six states operate under a two-year statute of limitations; other states may have a one year or three-year SOL. This means that from the time the device was recalled you have a very limited window of opportunity in which to file a suit and recover damages incurred due to your Rejuvenate. If you let that statute of limitation period pass you by, you may find you are forever barred from bringing suit against Stryker for harm done by a recalled device.
Differences in Hip Implant Designs
It’s important to understand how the Rejuvenate design differs from other metal-on-metal hip implants. The traditional all-metal hip implants such as the DePuy ASR have a metal ball and a metal acetabular cup. While these all-metal implants were believed to last longer—for fifteen to twenty years--patients soon began experiencing problems when the metal components rubbed against one another during periods of activity, leading to pain and inflammation when the metal ions found their way into surrounding tissues. The Rejuvenate is constructed of a ceramic ball, so it was believed these issues would not be present. The neck juncture of the Rejuvenate is comprised of cobalt and chromium and the trunnions located on either end of the neck piece are also metal. When body fluids become trapped in the trunnions, corrosion will occur just as at the neck juncture. Once this corrosion occurs, tissue necrosis and metal toxicity can occur.
Steps You Must Take
Therefore, whether the patient is currently experiencing pain or not, it is imperative they see a doctor to have a bone scan, MRI, x-ray and blood tests done to test the levels of cobalt and chromium. After attending to their immediate health concerns, the patient should visit with an experienced product liability attorney
to ensure they do not lose their ability to bring suit against Stryker. Should a revision surgery be necessary, there are many problems associated with Rejuvenate revisions that are not present in other hip revisions such as the ASR or the Pinnacle. The stem, which was deeply implanted into the femur, must be removed in order to completely remove the metal trunnions. That removal is considered extremely risky and many orthopedic surgeons will not perform the surgery because of the potential risks. Because this is a risky and expensive surgery, you must preserve your right to bring suit against Stryker should your Rejuvenate implant fail, you begin experiencing pain, or your blood tests show high levels of cobalt and chromium.