Our hip joints are one of the most essential components of our body’s makeup. Most all of our muscular movements include the hip joint, enabling us to successfully engage in our everyday activities as well as recreational activities. When a hip joint ceases to function properly a person’s life can be significantly altered resulting in a diminished quality of life. The advent of the total hip replacement brought hope to those whose hip joints had failed to function properly. The hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the diseased cartilage and bone of the hip joint is replaced with the artificial hip ball and socket joint.
The Claim vs. the Reality
According to Drug Watch, an organization which helps consumers affected by dangerous drugs and medical devices, Stryker marketed their Rejuvenate and ABGII hip implant under the contention that the new design would provide surgeons with more options in the correction of specific aspects of their patients’ anatomies and hip biomechanics. In other words, the claim was that because the Rejuvenate and ABGII had four parts rather than the typical two-part implant, surgeons could more readily choose the parts with the proper angle and length to meet each patient’s needs. According to Stryker’s own website http://www.aboutstryker.com/modular neckstems/ Stryker maintains that the incidence of complications with modular neck stem implants is relatively low. In the Urgent Field Safety Notice distributed by Stryker in April of 2012, the company admitted to a potential for fretting and corrosion at the junction of the modular neck which could lead to adverse reactions among implant recipients.
Those who are subject to the Stryker Rejuvenate recall and the Stryker ABGII recall may have already suffered adverse effects from the hip implant or may reasonably expect to encounter adverse health effects in the future. Mass High Tech, the Voice of New England Innovation notes over 45 adverse events reported to the FDA. Based on those numbers as well as historical data from other hip implants, it is possible there are more recipients of the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII who have not reported health issues related to the implant or have not yet experienced ill effects. The Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII models are generally a combination of metal-on-metal combined with ceramic materials. The metal-on-metal junctions tend to rub against one another during periods of activity, causing microscopic metal ions to shear off into the surrounding hip tissue or even the bloodstream.
Pain, inflammation, swelling and metallosis are all potential side effects according to Stryker’s Urgent Field Safety Notice for both the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII. One of the concerns lies in those metal shards which may lodge in the tissue, in many cases causing it to deteriorate or die. When metal ions enter the surrounding tissues or the bloodstream, neurological problems, kidney problems, severe inflammation pain, weakness in the joint, muscle and tissue damage, gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular issues, thyroid disorders and even disruption of DNA can occur. Many patients with metal-on-metal hip implants have also reported memory loss, balance issues, diminished hearing, skin disorders and the inability to distinguish between sweet and salty tastes.
In cases of total failure of the implant it may not remain fixed to the bone and can become loose, the bearing and cup could misalign, resulting in a dislocation or the bone structure surrounding the implant could fracture or break. In the event you must undergo revision surgery you should be aware that there is a very real risk of the femur bone cracking during the surgery which is considered very complex and can leave patients with serious complications. The stem of the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABGII goes deeply into the femur bone; should it need to come out there is significant risk of femur bone fractures. The surgery further requires that as much as half of the femur bone must be sawed off in order to remove the Stryker stem. The potential complications from this revision surgery are far-reaching, with some patients being left unable to walk.
If you have experienced health complications as a result of the Stryker hip implant it is important that you seek qualified medical advice regarding the future of your health and hip implant. Additionally, you could be eligible for compensation for injuries related to the Stryker Rejuvenate recall and the Stryker ABGII recall in the form of medical expenses, lost wages and even pain and suffering. Should it be determined that a revision surgery is warranted, you are urged to keep good records of all expenses associated with your Stryker Rejuvenate and/or Stryker ABGII hip implant.
Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABGII Hip Implant Recipients: What Can I Do?
If you received a Stryker Rejuvenate or Stryker ABGII hip implant between 2009 and July of 2012, you may have a claim against Stryker Orthopedics for the adverse health affects you may have suffered as a result of the implant surgery. You will need to make certain determinations to determine whether or not you have a case or claim against Stryker Orthopedics such as:
- You must first determine if your hip implant was a part of the July, 2012 recall of Stryker ABGII and Stryker Rejuvenate hip implants. The best way to do this is to speak with either the surgeon who performed your hip implant procedure or the facility where the procedure took place. You should be able to obtain the relevant medical records from one of these sources which will allow you to ascertain which specific implant you received. Even if your hip implant device does not yet fall under the Stryker hip recall it is important that you contact an experienced attorney regarding your specific circumstances.
- Once you have determined that you received either a Stryker ABGII or a Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant, you should schedule a time to consult with your physician in order to determine your present level of injury resulting from the Stryker hip implant. The most reported side effects from the recalled Stryker hip implants include:
- Chronic and possibly severe pain in the hip region
- Fractures or breaks
- Inflammation of the hip joint
- Issues with mobility
- Dislocation or displacement of the hip implant
- Symptoms of metallosis
- Cardiovascular, kidney and thyroid issues
Once again, remember that even if you are not currently experiencing any of these adverse health effects as the result of your Stryker hip implant, you could still have a case and should contact a qualified attorney to determine your level of potential injury. Many of the negative side effects of the Rejuvenate and/or the ABGII may not show up for two to six years, but the odds are they will appear. The failure rate, while still being determined, may likely end up being much higher than Stryker originally predicted, leaving all the recipients of the Stryker Rejuvenate and/or Stryker ABGII hip implants with looming future serious complications.
In instances where metal-on-metal components were employed, patients may suffer from microscopic shards of metal which shear off and lodge into the surrounding hip tissue or enter the bloodstream. When the metal shards enter the bloodstream, many patients experience metal toxicity which brings its own set of long-term health risks. Elevated levels of cobalt and chromium in the bloodstream can have traumatic effects on the health of the hip implant recipient.
It is important that you not contact Stryker Orthopedics without the benefit of a highly qualified attorney in your corner. Attempting to deal with a Stryker Orthopedics representative on your own could possibly lead to a reduction in your potential recovery. A Stryker hip recall attorney can ensure your interests and rights are fully protected and will also have information about the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABGII hip implant recalls that you may be unable to obtain on your own. An attorney with the Law Firm of Sullo & Sullo, LLP has the necessary knowledge, information and legal experience to evaluate your specific case during this difficult time.
Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII Hip Implant Recipients Can Turn to Sullo & Sullo, LLP for Help
If you are a Stryker Rejuvenate or Stryker ABGII Hip Implant Recipient, the highly qualified attorneys at Sullo & Sullo, LLP can help you with your potential claim:
First, our products liability lawyers can review and evaluate the specific circumstances of your case and then provide advice and counsel on the best course of action to pursue with respect to your particular claim. We have access to information you may need regarding your Stryker Rejuvenate and/or Stryker ABGII hip implant, and we will aggressively pursue just compensation for your damages, including pain and suffering.
Second, our experienced hip implant attorneys can help you to protect your claim. Manufacturing Defects Cases and Products Liability Cases have very specific statutes of limitation, which essentially limit the amount of time you have to file a claim. Having a highly qualified and experienced attorney who is aware of those deadlines by your side is important, because missing a deadline could negate your right to bring suit against those responsible for your injuries in the future, irrespective of the severity of the harm done to you. In particular, if we determine you have a potential case against Stryker Orthopedics for harm done to you because of either their Rejuvenate or ABGII hip implants, we will file a claim on your behalf, thus preserving your right to have your day in court and have your case heard against Stryker.
If you are a victim of the Stryker Rejuvenate and/or Stryker ABGII hip recall, contact an experienced Stryker hip recall lawyer with Sullo & Sullo, LLP today.