Shortcomings of Stryker’s Metal-to-metal Hip Implants
In 2010, 2011, and most recently in 2013, Stryker has issued recalls of its hip replacement devices after a wave of complaints over device failure, metal poisoning, and extreme pain had been reported. Numerous lawsuits have moved forward against Stryker since that time alleging any of the following: misrepresentation over the corrosion risk, deceptive statements used in selling the product, false claims that their device was a “safe alternative to metal on metal devices,” slowness to act quickly when device failures were first reported, continuing to market the product subsequent to knowing of its problems, and failure to warn both patients and doctors of the metallosis dangers of their product.
Problems With Metal-to-metal Hip Replacements
Specifically, it has been Stryker’s Rejuvenate and ABG II systems that have been recalled and that have been the cause of the above-mentioned complications and lawsuits. These are metal on metal hip replacements, an option that had been widely promoted and used since the 1970′s for their alleged pain reduction and increased mobility. Such metal-to-metal implants, however, have been found to often cause serious injury. This is not only true of Stryker’s products but is a general fault of many metal-to-metal hip replacements manufactured by several companies. Plastic and ceramic material, by contrast, has not been found nearly so problematic.
History and Facts Concerning Hip Replacements
Hip replacement is the most common orthopaedic surgery in the United States today and has in many cases delivered restored mobility without serious discomfort. In fact, artificial hip joints have been implanted for nearly 300 years to combat loss of movement due to fracture, arthritis, or aged and worn bones. All artificial hips insert a “stem” into the femur, attach a ball on the end, and provide a cup or lining on the pelvis against which the reinforced femur bone can turn. While all hip implants have certain risks, such as Deep Vein Thrombosis, it is only the more recent metal on metal variety that have added metal poisoning to the dangers. This particular type of device has failed frequently and required corrective surgery causing the patient added medical expenses and increased pain and suffering. Many times, Stryker’s devices failed within a year to a year and a half and caused extremely dangerous side effects.
Lawsuits Underway Against Stryker
Thousands of suits are underway against Stryker in connection with their Rejuvenate and ABG II metal on metal hip replacements, 2,000 in New Jersey’s district court and 1,700 in Minnesota. A number of individual cases have already been settled, and others have been consolidated into joint actions. Sufferers are entitled to seek economic damages for medical bills and lost income, non-economic damages for increased pain and suffering, and even punitive damages designed to deter any future repeat negligence. The chances of success in court are quite high at this point due to admission by Stryker of problems with their products, the widespread recognition of the complications of metal on metal hip implants, and the past success of other plaintiffs.
Legal Help for Victims
Anyone who has had a Stryker hip implant and later been immobilized due to device failure, diagnosed with high levels of metal in their bloodstream, or experienced excruciating pain in their joint or deterioration of the tissues and bone inside the joint should consider taking legal action pursuant to full and fair compensation. These devices have proven themselves too often defective and dangerous and have already been recalled from the market, and filing a lawsuit can reimburse you for expenses and pain while discouraging companies from marketing such devices in the future.