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Understanding Corrosion Associated With Stryker Hip Replacements

Stryker Hip Replacements and CorrosionSome of the most popular terms often heard in discussing the Stryker hip recall include “corrosion,” “metal ions” and “metallosis.” As you learn more about the Stryker lawsuits, you may read FDA articles and research studies that frequently use these terms. If you have a Stryker hip implant, you should take care to understand these terms. Those who have Stryker hip implants may be at risk for developing metallosis, which is a type of metal poisoning caused by the release of metal ions into the bloodstream. They may also suffer from corrosion of the Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II systems, which refers to the wear and tear of the hip implant. Corrosion can cause a person to suffer from extreme pain, swelling, bruising, redness, itching and other uncomfortable conditions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even started reporting on the negative corrosive effects of Stryker hip implants and other metal-on-metal hip devices. After initially approving the Stryker hip systems on June 3, 2008, without extensive clinical safety testing, it seems that the FDA has now reversed its initial decision to approve the product. The FDA later issued warnings about the potential defects in the Stryker hip implants, and these warnings ultimately spurred Stryker Orthopaedics to initiate its own voluntary recall of the Rejuvenate and ABG II systems in April of 2012.

Why Is Metal Corrosion Relevant to the Stryker Hip Implant Recall?

The FDA recently released a report conducted by the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute to explain the corrosion mechanisms and effects associated with the Stryker hip implants. The study was lead by Dr. Jeremy L. Gilbert and was conducted along with his support team of Ph.D. candidates.

Basically, “metal corrosion” refers to the tendency of metals in the Stryker hip implants to become worn, fretted, stressed or otherwise damaged. The crevices in the neck and tapers of the hip prosthesis also contribute to increased corrosion of metals.

There are several types of corrosion that can occur in the Stryker hip prosthesis. These corrosion types include tribocorrosion, fretting corrosion, stress enhanced corrosion and stress corrosion cracking. Fretting means that two surfaces of the Stryker hip implant rub together to cause corrosion and damage to the device. When two surfaces rub together, fretting serves to produce the conditions required for corrosion. The researchers likened fretting to the “match” that causes the crevice corrosion, which is the “fire.”

The Significance of “Wear” and “Corrosion”

The “wear” and “corrosion” of a Stryker hip implant are interrelated. As a Stryker hip implant becomes worn, it develops an oxide film on the surface of the metal parts. The oxide film also causes debris to accumulate in the crevices of Stryker hip components. The development of this debris can then lead to painful infections in the hip region.

All of the current hip metal systems are susceptible to mechanically assisted corrosion. Individuals who have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip system should consult with a physician to determine whether they have a device that has already corroded. A physician may determine that a patient requires a new implant or a revision hip surgery if he or she has a corroded device.

How Corrosion Has Impacted Stryker Hip Patients

The metal corrosion associated with Stryker hip implants can cause serious health issues in patients. Patients should be aware of the risks that are now associated with the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip systems. As the metal components corrode, they release metal ions into the bloodstream. Metal ions made up of cobalt, chromium and titanium can cause inflammation, infection, irritation and even metal poisoning. Corrosion can result in a painful condition known as adverse local tissue reaction (ALTR). Some of the other symptoms that are associated with corrosion of Stryker hip implants include:

  • Development of pseudotumors
  • Deterioration of hip bones
  • Necrosis, the destruction of tissue
  • Metallosis, a form of metal poisoning
  • Extreme pain
  • Dislocation
  • Revision surgery

If you have suffered from any of these adverse medical conditions, it is time for you to speak with a lawyer about your rights. You still have some time to become part of the Multi-District Litigation proceedings that are being asserted against Stryker Orthopaedics. Don’t wait any longer to speak with an attorney about whether you are still eligible to file a legal claim.