September 27, 2016 - If you are one of the thousands of people who have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII hip implant, and you have not yet undergone revision surgery, you may wonder about the long-term risks of having a recalled implant in your body. Patients with a Stryker hip device were likely dismayed to hear of the Stryker hip recall in July 2012. At the time of the recall, there was considerable talk of the Stryker hip failure rates, Stryker hip side effects and long-term Stryker hip durability issues. With more than 20,000 Stryker ABGII and Rejuvenate devices sold, it was no surprise that thousands of injured Stryker patients filed lawsuits against the manufacturer following the Stryker hip recall.
By November 2014, Stryker decided to follow the lead of Johnson & Johnson with the DePuy metal-on-metal hip recall, and offer a settlement to specific Stryker patients. The settlement covered only those who had undergone Stryker ABGII revision surgery or Stryker Rejuvenate revision surgery by November 3, 2014. Those patients received a base award of $300,000, with certain enhancements and deductions for individual circumstances. Patients who required a Stryker revision surgery but were unable, medically, to undergo the surgical procedure were also included in the settlement agreement, however the compensation for those plaintiffs is less than for those who have undergone the revision surgery.
Long-Term Risks of Having a Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant
Unfortunately, those who have not had revision surgery may feel as though they have been left out in the cold as far as the Stryker hip settlement. It is impossible to say with certainty because Stryker has declined to put a number on the failure rate of the recalled Stryker devices other than to say it is “higher than normal.” Some research has placed the failure rate at 40 percent and higher, which certainly makes those with a recalled Stryker hip implant in their body wonder about the long-term risks.
Stryker hip metallosis can occur in those with a metal-on-metal, or even partially metal, hip implant. When metal surfaces come into contact with one another when the patient is active, excessive wear occurs, leading to Stryker hip corrosion and fretting. Tiny metal ions shear away from the device, burrowing into nearby hip tissues or entering the bloodstream. When the metallic debris accumulates to a certain level, metallosis can occur. Metallosis can lead to deterioration and death of bone and tissue, chronic pain in the hip, groin and thigh, inflammation and loosening of the hip implant. These issues can, in turn, lead to the patient being forced to have the implant removed, and replaced with a safer alternative.
Stryker hip blood poisoning (chromium and cobalt blood poisoning) can also occur, causing extremely serious symptoms. The body can become unable to repair its own DNA when cobalt and chromium levels get high enough. Liver necrosis, impairment of kidney function, respiratory issues, deterioration of vision and hearing, reproductive disorders, an increased chance for specific cancers, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular issues, neurological issues, fatigue and poor concentration, muscle atrophy, convulsions, irritability, depression, anxiety and the development of pseudotumors can all occur when cobalt and chromium reach dangerous levels in the body. If you are worried about the long-term effects of your Stryker hip device, and have questions regarding your ability to pursue compensation from Stryker for your injuries, speak to a Stryker hip lawyer as soon as possible.