Every year, thousands of individuals suffering from limited mobility undergo hip replacement surgery to improve the quality of their life and eliminate pain in their hip. Unfortunately, not every hip replacement surgery is successful. Often times, significant issues arise where there is an immediate need for revision surgery. The existing device is replaced with a secondary implant after a lengthy and complex procedure. Unfortunately, some patients die during the hip revision surgery as a result of complications, or in the months or years that follow.
Usually, patients elect to have hip replacement surgery as a way to decrease their pain and increase mobility. The diseased or damaged bone and associated tissue is replaced with an artificial implant. The need for hip replacements has never been greater, as more Americans live longer than ever before with highly active lives. The recipient of the hip replacement device is often an individual who has endured sports injuries, or significant trauma to their hip joint.
Over the last few years, hip replacement system manufacturers, including Stryker, have entered the medical marketplace with their own devices using proprietary materials and the unique design. Devices including the ABG II and Rejuvenate were marketed as effective solutions for active individuals in need of a new hip joint.
As the products were brought to market at the end of 2009, Stryker introduced the Rejuvenate hip implant system for individuals needing increase flexibility. The design of the implant allowed the device to be custom-fitted to meet the needs of each individual patient.
Using patented materials and a new design, Stryker manufactured the ABG II and Rejuvenate modular hip implants using ceramic bearing surfaces. The company made claims that the implant posed no potential risk of causing harm associated with common metal on metal surfaces used by their competitors.
Unfortunately, all claims of no associated risks with both devices were untrue. In fact, many patients with the implant are suffering with the same risks as other competitors’ faulty devices. As a result, the company voluntarily recalled both products from the marketplace in July 2012. Patients have experienced numerous medical conditions from the implants, which are outlined in the many formal complaints about the devices, including:
- Bone fractures
- High toxicity from metal poisoning
- Significant soft tissue inflammation
- Loss of muscle mass
- Collecting fluid and pseudo-tumors around the implant
- Extreme swelling and pain associated with the device
The Need for Revision Surgery Even In Patients With Poor Health
Because of the thousands of cases involving significant problems with the Stryker hip replacement systems, many doctors are recommending revision surgery. In a follow-up re-operation, the surgeon removes and replaces the defective device. Unfortunately, the follow-up surgery is significantly more traumatic than the initial procedure, and many patients experience a broken femur bone when the surgeon removes the femoral stem from the leg.
Increased Death Rates During and Following a Hip Replacement Procedure
Typically, hip revision surgeries tend to produce less favorable outcomes when compared to the initial implant operation. Many times, the second surgery requires an extensive amount of hospital stay and recovery time as a result of the lengthy, complex procedure. Most patients require an assistive device including a walker or cane temporarily or permanently after the second surgery.
In addition, individuals that have suffered serious problems from the initial surgery, often experience increased death rates from uncontrollable infection at the replacement site. The devices made by Stryker, and other orthopedic hip replacement system manufacturers, are also known to fail due to corrosion and fretting of the material, especially devices fabricated out of chromium and cobalt metals. The corrosion usually releases metal debris into the bloodstream and surrounding tissue, often compromising the health of the patient.
Taking Legal Steps When A Loved One is Lost Following a Hip Revision
Nearly every patient that has been negatively affected by their Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip replacement device likely feels overwhelmed with what to do next. In all likelihood, the doctor informed you of the recall of your implant, and discussed symptoms and signs of pain, swelling, infection, metal toxicity and other conditions.
The next step is to seek out legal advice on how to proceed with the Stryker hip replacement injury case. Today, thousands of individuals have already filed lawsuits against Stryker and other hip implant manufacturers, as a way to seek legal remedy and financial compensation to cover the extensive costs involved in restoring their health.
If a loved one has died as a result of complications involving hip revision surgery, it is essential to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney that specializes in hip implant recalls. Filing a wrongful death claim against the responsible party holds the company accountable for your losses, pain and suffering, as a surviving family member. Learn more about your legal rights without cost or obligation by completing the contact form here.