May 03, 2016 - If you are the recipient of a Stryker Rejuvenate or Stryker ABGII hip implant device, you are likely aware of the recall issued in July 2012 as well as the Stryker hip settlement agreement offered to those who have undergone Stryker hip revision surgery. There are many issues associated with these Stryker devices, including Stryker hip corrosion and fretting, Stryker hip infection, Stryker hip blood poisoning and Stryker hip metallosis. Of all of these, Stryker hip metallosis has probably received the greatest amount of attention, largely because metallosis can cause serious enough issues that a revision surgery becomes inevitable.
What Causes Stryker Hip Metallosis?
At the time of the recall, higher-than-normal Stryker hip failure rates were noted, primarily due to Stryker hip corrosion and fretting. During periods of activity, the metal components of the implant rub against one another, causing tiny cobalt and chromium ions to shear away from the device, lodging in the hip tissues or entering the bloodstream. The ions which lodge in the tissues surrounding the hip can cause symptoms of Stryker hip metallosis. Patients with a Stryker Rejuvenate appear to show a wider variance in cobalt and chromium levels, with cobalt levels showing as significantly more elevated. It is believed the disparity is a result of wear on the Rejuvenate be concentrated in the neck and stem.
Symptoms of Stryker Hip Metallosis
Stryker hip metallosis has been described as the staining of soft tissues, associated with abnormal wear, and symptoms of metallosis continue to increase as the metallic ions accumulate in the tissues. The body sees the ions as foreign bodies, sending special white blood cells to attack the metal shards. The symptoms of Stryker hip metallosis include inflammation, chronic pain in the hip, groin and thigh areas, deterioration or death of bone and tissue, loosening of the device and, eventually, the necessity of Stryker hip revision surgery. Some of those with a metal hip implant appear to react much more strongly to heavy metals in the body while others can have a fairly high tolerance level for the metals. Metal sensitivity is, essentially, an allergic reaction to heavy metals such as the cobalt, chromium and titanium found in the Stryker ABGII and Rejuvenate. As with any allergic reaction, as the body attempts to dispel the foreign invaders, healthy tissue can be damaged in the process.
Bone Necrosis Resulting from Stryker Hip Metallosis
In particular, the bone surrounding the implant can deteriorate over time, eventually suffering total necrosis. With no healthy bone to attach to, the device will naturally loosen. One study which was published in the Journal of Orthopedic Research, studied 259 patients who had received a metal-on-metal hip implant. As compared to a control group, those with metal devices tested between 50 and 100 times higher levels of cobalt and chromium. Pain is generally the first symptom of metallosis, yet it may come on so gradually that the patient does not really connect it to a serious issue with their device. If you have experienced Stryker hip metallosis which led to revision surgery, you may already be a part of the Stryker hip settlement, however if you do not have a case on file and are facing revision surgery, it is imperative you speak to a knowledgeable Stryker hip attorney at your earliest possible convenience in order to determine what your options are for the future.