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Did Stryker Delay in Recalling Its Hip Implants?

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Stryker’s hip implants, the Stryker Rejuvenate, and the ABG II, are supposed to last between 15 and 20 years. Instead, many patients are finding that they’re having problems after just two years– or less of service. In fact, some patients are experiencing pain, dislocation and other complications just weeks after the surgery.

Stryker’s first hip implant, the Stryker Rejuvenate, was first distributed in February 2010. They issued their recall on July 6, 2012.

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The question is:

Did Stryker delay in issuing the recall?

Did they ignore mounting evidence that their products might be causing harm?

Has their hesitance to take action caused undue pain and suffering to patients?

The Evidence Against Stryker

Complaints against Stryker’s hip products began almost immediately after the product first hit the market. Dianne Pingel is the first person to bring a lawsuit against Stryker. She experienced pain in her hip just three months after the surgery. Doctors performed X-Rays and other diagnostic scans but were unable to locate the source of her pain.

It wasn’t until they did a blood test that they discovered heavy metal in Pingle’s bloodstream. The hip replacement implant was removed, but Dianne Pingle will likely have to remain under medical supervision for the rest of her life.

Dianne Pingle’s story is not unique. Between the release of Stryker Rejuvenate and its recall, more than 60 complaints have been filed with the FDA around Stryker’s implants. Eight lawsuits have been filed against Stryker as of September 13, 2012. Because of the volume of lawsuits that the courts are expecting, a new multi-district litigation (MDL) case is likely to be opened.

The Condemning Study Against Metal on Metal Implants

In March of 2012, the University of Bristol and the National Joint Registry of England and Wales published a paper condemning metal on metal hip implants. They studied eight years of data from almost half a million patients who’ve received total hip replacement surgery.

The study found that metal on metal hip implants failed three times more often than hip implants made of ceramic, plastics or other materials.

With so much data in the study, the results were clearly statistically significant. The study was funded by a revered organization and conducted at a recognized institution. Yet Stryker waited four months to act on the study, allowing more patients to receive defective implants in the meantime.

Stryker Downplays Their Device’s Fault

Though Stryker has issued a recall for their implants, they continue to downplay the fault of their devices. They’ve made no mention of the high failure rate, nor of the possibility for heavy metal poisoning.

Their recall statement states:  “We decided to voluntarily recall these modular-neck stem hip systems because there is a potential for fretting and corrosion at the modular neck junction which may lead to adverse local tissue reactions.”

Many patients who have a Stryker implant aren’t even aware that there’s a recall for their implant. The language on Stryker’s website downplays the potential life-threatening danger of continuing to use a Stryker device, potentially leading more patients to choose not to take remedial action.

If you’ve been injured by a Stryker device, whether from implant failure or from metal poisoning, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact us at (888) 424-5757.

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The Drug Law Center is sponsored by lawyers who represent individuals and families who have suffered a serious injury or death from a dangerous drug or medical device. While these medical inventions have been marketed to improve the quality of life for people, unsafe drugs and poorly designed medical devices can drastically reduce the quality of life for the individual and his or her family.

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