Joint replacement surgery has brought renewed mobility to millions of older people who suffer from osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions. Medical device manufacturers work continuously to develop new products that improve joint implant function and longevity. However, some problems have been reported with the Stryker Corporation’s ABG II and Rejuvenate implants, which have led to increased metal content in the blood, bone degeneration, pain and the need for revision surgery.
Understanding Joint Replacement Implants
Joint implants are devices made of plastic and metal that simulate the action and function of normal human joints. Hip joint replacements are now a common medical procedure that is done on thousands of patients each year. A wide range of designs is available to suit a variety of medical needs.
Stryker Joint Replacement Implants
In 2008, the Stryker Corporation introduced a new type of hip implant device that used a one-piece construction for a metal-on-metal hip. Soon after the implant was introduced, patients began to report a variety of disturbing symptoms related to the device. Many of them experienced constant pain from the implant. Others developed unsettling medical conditions that they did not previously have. A significant number of patients had to undergo revision surgery due to the failure of the device. It was clear that the new implant design was at fault. In July of 2012, Stryker issued a voluntary recall of two of their metal-on-metal hip implant designs in response to the increased complaints of problems associated with these products and their frequent failure.
Reports of Implant problems
A number of medical conditions have been reported regarding the Stryker metal-on-metal hip implants, which include:
· Looseness of the implant
· Chronic pain
· Damage to bone and tissue surrounding the joint
· Inflammation around the implant
· Infection in tissues surrounding the implant
· Necrosis of tissue around the implant
· Increased levels of metal in the bloodstream
· Failure of the implant
The problems associated with ABG II and Rejuvenate hip implant systems caused patients to undergo a significant number of additional medical tests and procedures. The metal in the implant frequently “fretted’ releasing tiny amounts of metal into the bloodstream. These high levels of chromium and cobalt in the blood subsequently produced symptoms, such as rash, necrosis of tissues, development of pseudotumors and immune system reactions. Also, failure of the implant required removal of the faulty implant and replacement with a different design. The surgery also required a significant amount of post-surgical physical therapy. These treatments often meant additional expense to patients, as well as loss of wages during the recovery process.
Stryker Implant Lawsuits
When Stryker removed the defective implants from the market in 2012, many patients filed lawsuits against the company for compensation for the additional costs related to the faulty products. Many of the lawsuits regarding the defective hip implants were rolled into a single class action suit against Stryker. Because defective product laws usually have a time limit regarding bringing suit against the manufacturer, patients who receive an injury from these implants and had to receive additional treatment because of the product should consult with an experience defective product attorney to discuss filing a lawsuit for compensation.