Stryker, one of the largest global manufacturers of medical devices has not had much luck in recent years with its hip replacement implants. In 2007, the company recalled its Trident hip replacements, and in July 2012, it recalled the Rejuvenate and ABG II devices, all due to higher than normal failure rates in patients who received them.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements All Have Similar Issues
The three devices manufactured, and subsequently recalled by Stryker are all what are known as “metal-on-metal” implants. These implants came to market based on previous artificial hip designed that were comprised of plastic and ceramic components. The most attractive aspect of these implants was that the companies that designed and manufactured them touted them as more durable, and able to last longer than their predecessors. Typically, an artificial hip has a life-span of 15-20 years, but with younger recipients receiving them, the likelihood was that many would have to undergo another procedure, as their artificial hips were not designed for lifelong endurance.
Stryker and other medical device manufacturers thought the metal components would benefit those who wanted to maintain active lifestyles after being implanted with an all-metal hip. Unfortunately, the all-metal designs were not only failing long before they reached their expected life-spans, they were causing other issues for recipients. Besides symptoms of pain, swelling, and limited mobility, many individuals also experienced metallosis, which is a serious blood condition characterized by elevated levels of chromium and cobalt in the blood. This is caused by the shedding of microscopic metal particles from the components, which embed into surrounding tissues and enter the bloodstream. These individuals have had to undergo revision surgeries to remove and replace the Stryker implants with the plastic/ceramic models they were meant to replace. Opinions of those in the medical community are that the all-metal models turned out to be less durable than their counterparts. In fact, many believe that upwards of 40 percent of those who were implanted with an all-metal hip replacement like the Rejuvenate, Trident, or ABG II, will have to undergo revision surgery within the first five years of receiving one of these devices.
All-Metal Hip Recipients Should Pay Attention to Symptoms That Could Indicate Failure
It is important to consult your orthopedic surgeon to determine whether or not the symptoms you might be experiencing are consistent with a failed hip replacement implant, and if that implant was manufactured and sold by Stryker.
Additionally, many recipients are filing lawsuits against Stryker alleging injuries stemming from implantation of the recalled implants. Plaintiffs are seeking compensation for pain, suffering, unforeseen medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.