Hip Replacement Lawsuit Center
The goal of our site is to help our visitors understand the basic history of hip replacement, how metal-on-metal (MOM) hip replacement products evolved, the specific role played by Stryker MOM hip devices and the options available to patients that have been injured by the the two Stryker MOM products, the Rejuvenate and the ABG,II. In addition to the information supplied by this site our visitors are always welcome to contact our experienced staff at any time to request more detailed advice tailored to their specific circumstances.
Metal On Metal Hip Replacements
In response to hip joint deterioration of the human body, medical device manufacturers have developed products for a number of decades designed to either resurface the hip joint or, in more serious cases, completely replace it. The early designs, which were subject to rigorous pre-market testing, were manufactured using both plastic and ceramic.
More than a decade ago in an effort to develop a hip device that was more durable and more flexible and to expand the market for hip devices to a younger, more active population, the major medical device companies began to manufacture hip replacement products containing metal parts. Some these devices even had metal components which were designed to come into contact with each other (MOMS). Unfortunately in the the rush to bring these devices to market it has become clear that these products were not adequately tested prior to marketing them to the general public.
Using what many people call a loop-hole in the FDA approval process, products like the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG,II models, were fast tracked into production using the FDA's 510(k) provision which allows products similar to those already on the market to be introduced without the degree of testing normally required for a new product. Within a short period of time it became clear that not only were these products not a significant advancement of the hip replacement science as promised in massive marketing campaigns, they were, in fact, prone to higher failure rates and complications not found in devices they were designed to replace.
What Is Hip Implant Failure?
While all hip implants carry risks, data collected over the life of MOM devices indicates significant additional risks that are unique to the material used in such devices. Specifically, whether it is the metal ball and the metal cup rubbing together or other metal components that come into contact with each other, the result is the release of microscopic metal particles which can do both local and remote damage to a patients' body.
Local damage includes "adverse local tissue reaction" as well as pain, device loosening, dislocation and total device failure. Any of these side effects can result in the need for revision surgery. Additionally local damage which also contributes to symptoms set forth above, is bone death technically known as osteolysis.
In addition to the harm caused to local tissue and bone by the fretting of the metal products, cobalt and chromium ions have been known to migrate to other parts of the body via the blood stream, bringing a whole new host of side effects into play. Symptoms include:
- Hearing and visual impairments
- Psychological impacts including depression and confusion
- Impairment of renal function
- Thyroid impairment
- Heart complications
Stryker ABG II and Rejuvenate Hip Implants
Given the potential for serious damage unique to the hip replacements that use metal in their manufacturing processes, it comes as no surprise that many of these products have been recalled. Citing higher than expected revision rates, both DePuy (ASR- August 2010) and Smith and Nephew (R3 Metal Liners- June 2012) issued recalls for products containing metal components. Equally unsurprising, was the announcement in July of 2012 that Stryker was recalling both its' ABG II and Rejuvenate hip devices for much the same reasons.
Subsequent investigations have revealed that these products had been brought to market with very little pre-market testing. Like many other artificial hip manufacturers, Stryker used the FDA's 510(k) provision to argue that their metal hip products were substantially similar to a product already on the market (The Profemur System manufactured by Wright which was subsequently recalled itself) to rush the Rejuvenate and the ABG II to market without adequate testing. Additionally, data suggests that these products failed at a higher rate because they contained more moving parts than earlier hip replacement products, which significantly increased the opportunity for fretting and subsequent release of metal ions.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of all is the fact that most experts now agree that the metal designs, heavily marketed to the public as more flexible and safer, turned out to be neither. The large majority of revision surgeries to correct problems caused by the failure of the ABG II and the Rejuvenate are now being done with the plastic and ceramic hips that these products were designed to replace.
Filing a Hip Replacement Lawsuit Against Stryker Orthopaedics
For those who have been injured by the Stryker ABG II or the Rejuvenate there are several options available to seek compensation for those injuries. The first step in seeking compensation is to gain a complete understanding of those injuries and an estimate of what it may cost to recover from them. Depending on the particular circumstances a patient may be entitled to one or more of the following damages:
- All medical costs needed to deal with the damage, including a new hip
- Rehabilitative costs, including care at home during recovery
- Lost income and lost capacity to work in the future
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
Many Rejuvenate and ABG II patients have received a letter from Broadspire Services, the company hired by Stryker to be the third party administrator of their recall program. At first glance cooperating with Strykers paid agent appears to be a simple way to deal with the problem. Closer observation suggests the potential for a recall patient to be victimized for a second time. Make no mistake about it, Broadspire has been hired to deal with the recall for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is to save Stryker money.
Historically data suggests the failure to hire an experienced recall attorney in situations similar to this one have resulted in patient recoveries amounting to as little as one-third of the amount that is typically recovered by a lawyer. Unless you or your loved one is an expert in matters such as this it makes no sense at all to attempt to settle the matter with Strykers' experts on your own. Even what appears to be clear settlement language can be used to deny patients assistance in the future. Don't allow yourself to be twice victimized. Get professional advice from someone that has your best interest in mind before you agree to settle anything.
How We Can Help
Our representatives can give you the information assistance you need, including legal advice on how to make a claim and they are only a click or call away. They have been advising hundreds of patients and their families for many years, patients facing exactly what you or your loved one are now facing. From advice on where to look for medical help to advice on all legal issues they are available nearly 24 hours per day to answer questions, from the routine to the complex. There is never a charge for their assistance and you can call them as often as you like. Don't lose your right to recover by failing to act or by entering into a settlement agreement that fails to protect you. Let us guide you through the recovery process.