The year 2012 saw another major hip replacement recall which may require an intensive treatment plan for patients.
In July 2012, Stryker recalled two hip replacements, the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems. Stryker initiated the voluntary recall due to the potential risks for fretting and corrosion at the junction of the metal stem and metal neck.
Several months later, product liability lawsuits have been filed in a few states and patients are still learning what the recall may mean for them. The recall came two years after DePuy Orthopedics recalled its all-metal hip implant, the ASR XL Acetabular System, in 2010. A study showed the DePuy hip implant failed in one of eight patients and required they undergo a second surgery within five years – compared to the industry standard of 15.
The DePuy hip implant caused friction between the metallic ball and socket components and injuries such as bone fractures, trouble walking and metallosis, a painful condition which occurs when metallic particles appear in a patient’s blood stream.
With the Stryker recall, the company states the incidence of complications is extremely low and that patients who experience pain and swelling should speak with their surgeon. If a patient does require a second surgery, it may be more complex than in the DePuy recall. The neck stem of Stryker’s hip implant was implanted tightly into the femur bone to stay permanently. There may be potential for complications such as bone fractures.
If you have a Stryker hip implant, you should have been contacted by your surgeon about the recall. If not, you should contact them now as well as an experienced medical device lawyer, who can represent your interests.
Contact an Experienced Hip Implant Recall Lawyer The Boston product liability lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck have over 100 years combined experience handling cases involving defective medical devices and pharmaceuticals. If you have been injured, it is important to learn your rights. For a free legal consultation, contact us today toll-free at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
Related: Stryker Initiates Voluntary Product Recall of Modular-Neck Stems, Food and Drug Administration.
Medical insurance companies are alerting patients who have defective all-metal hip implants that they will seek to recover expenses from any settlement money which patients receive. Medicare is also expected to try and recover its costs.
Thousands of patients have been affected by recent recalls of all-metal hip implants and are expected to seek compensation from manufacturers. Although insurance companies, by statute or contract, often have the right to recover some of their costs, it is unusual for companies to be so assertive for medical device failures. The aggressive actions being taken by the insurers reflect their awareness of just how expensive these defective products are becoming.
In August 2010, DePuy recalled the ASR XL Acetabular System. The hip implant is defective because it causes friction between the metallic ball and socket components, which are implanted to replace the femur and acetabulum.
The recalled DePuy hip implants can wear down and produce a substantial amount of metallic particles in patients’ bloodstreams. Patients reported signs of metallosis, including pain, swelling, problems walking and rashes. Other serious problems may include bone fractures, joint inflammation, hip dislocation and damage to the tissue, hip implant loosening, nerves and muscles near the implant.
DePuy recalled the defective hip implants after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received about 400 complaints in two years from patients. That number has grown significantly following the recall. In just the first six months of 2011, the FDA received more than 5,000 reports about problems with all-metal hip implants, according to an analysis by The New York Times. DePuy hip implants accounted for 75 percent of the complaints.
It is still unclear how many patients have been affected by defective metal hip implants. The New York Times reports one estimate that 500,000 patients have received an all-metal replacement hip.
The newspaper reports another estimate that 250,000 hip replacements are performed in the United States each year. Until recently all-metal hip implants accounted for nearly one-third of these procedures.
As of October 2011, 3,500 patients filed lawsuits against DePuy in connection with last year’s recall. DePuy also faces over 560 lawsuits in connection with the Pinnacle, another defective all-metal hip implant.
More lawsuits are expected against DePuy and other manufacturers as patients start experiencing pain and requiring corrective surgery. This procedure can be painful, require substantial post-operation bed rest and treatment and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Click here to read more about all-metal hip implants in the New York Times.