Stryker Hip Implants and Complications
Every year, 459,000 Americans have hip replacement surgery, with the goal of decreasing pain and increasing mobility. Hip replacements are often done because of arthritis, osteoarthritis, bone death, obesity, trauma or other hip conditions.
Not every hip replacement surgery alleviates suffering, however. Some hips implants, like two of Stryker Corporation’s devices, the Rejuvenate and ABG II, can cause severe damage and increased pain.
Stryker Hip Implants
Stryker sells 57,000 products, including hip replacement parts manufactured by its orthopaedics division. Certain parts reportedly were not properly tested before they were marketed and implanted in thousands of patients.
The Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stem systems come with several neck and stem components and are designed to offer a custom fit for younger patients. The Rejuvenate was designed to be long-lasting and provide good range of motion. The FDA approved it in June 2008. The ABG II system, approved in November 2009, promised to provide stability and limit bone stress.
Around 20,000 Americans received these Stryker implants.
Serious Complications and Recalls
In April 2012, Stryker published an “Urgent Safety Alert” for hospitals, surgeons and people with the systems, regarding the hazards of the devices, including “excessive metal debris and ion generation.” The metal ions are generated when the chromium and cobalt neck of the device rubs against the titanium-coated stem.
The alert explained that the metal can cause metal poisoning, tissue death, pain that necessitates revision surgery and bone dissolution. Revision surgeries can be complex, traumatic and costly. As a result, many people with various brands of hip implants have filed lawsuits against device manufacturers. As of February 2013, 50 Stryker Lawsuits were pending in New Jersey state courts, and several hundred more cases are expected.
After dozens of people reported adverse events to the FDA, Stryker voluntarily recalled the Rejuvenate and ABG II in July 2012. Though this action prevents more patients from receiving faulty implants, thousands received implants prior to the recall.
Patients who experience pain from modular-neck hip implants should receive medical evaluations, MRIs, X-rays and blood tests to determine if the metal contamination has reached toxic levels.
General Implant Complications
Hip replacement surgery, like any surgery, carries certain risks. Following surgery, blood clots are fairly common. All surgeries are associated with the potential risk of excessive bleeding, heart attack and stroke during the procedure, and anesthesia injury.
Occasionally, there are other complications such as implant breakage, plant loosening, hardened tissues near the joint, differences in leg length and poor alignment, resulting in increased wear and the need for revision surgeries.
Understanding the potential complications of implants can guide you in the journey of pursuing safe and long-lasting mobility.
Alanna Ritchie is a content writer for Drugwatch.com, specializing in news about prescription drugs, medical devices and consumer safety. For more medical devices information, feel free to follow Drugwatch on Twitter