In July of 2012, Stryker Orthopaedics recalled two of their hip replacement models, both the Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular-neck hip stems. These systems, along with other brands of metal-on-metal hip replacement systems, have been linked to infections, soreness, squeaking joints, and other serious health issues.
But what if you’re not experiencing any of the symptoms described? How will you know if you implant is about to fail?
Problems with Stryker’s Hip Implants
According to current safety alert and recall information, the following problems may appear as a result of implantation of the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II models:
Metallosis (excessive metal debris or metal ions released into patient’s tissue and blood stream),
Necrosis (premature tissue death)
Osteolysis (bone dissolution)
Loosening of hip implants
All of which would require immediate revision surgery in order to avoid long-term and potentially devastating health consequences.
Symptoms of Stryker Hip Implant Failure
Anyone who has undergone hip replacement surgery with a metal-on-metal Stryker hip replacement system should be carefully monitoring themselves for symptoms of potential hip implant failure, including:
Severe pain in the affected hip
Swelling in the lower back, groin, leg and/or hip
Popping, squeaking or clicking sounds from the hip joint
What You Should Do – Symptoms or Not
If you were implanted with a metal-on-metal Stryker hip replacement device, you should make an appointment with your orthopedic surgeon immediately to discuss your status, concerns, any symptoms and to be tested and monitored for your possible risk for future hip implant failure, even if you are not currently experiencing symptoms or complications.
It is highly recommended, that your surgeon perform a clinical examination, as well as tests to determine the current health of your implant. Testing should include:
Blood work to rule out signs of metallosis. Since patients with these implants are showing signs of excess cobalt and chromium, naturally occurring metals in the body that can prove toxic in high amounts, leading to inflammation, which can damage surrounding tissue and bone and potentially dangerous side effects like cardiomyopathy, hypothyroidism, and neurological damage.
Diagnostic films, showing cross section imaging via CT (a bone scan which can reveal the strength of bones) or MRI scans (ideal for detecting inflammation).
But Why Should I Test Now, if I Don’t Have Symptoms?
Why? Because your hip replacement can be failing long before symptoms you might take note of appear. This means the more proactive you are in monitoring your risk, the greater chance you have of mitigating it.
According to Science Daily, “Metal-on-metal hip implants can cause inflammation of the joint lining (synovitis) long before symptoms appear, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to identify this inflammation, according to a new study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery. The study, which appears in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, demonstrates that MRI can be used to identify implants that are going to fail before people become symptomatic.”
The other big reason is because you don’t want to wait and find out later, that your hip implant is failing after time limits for filing claims have passed you by. Missing these time limits can cause you to be left out of any settlement that occurs in these cases, leaving you to pick up the tab at upwards of $50,000 for hip implant revision surgery (not to mention post-operative therapy) out of your own pocket.
If you or a loved one has received the Stryker Rejuvenate Modular Hip System, Meshbesher & Spence is prepared to defend your rights.
Please contact our office in order to protect your legal rights. Call 888-728-9866 to be promptly contacted by an attorney with our firm.