Mar 20th, 2013 | By | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Some Implants Found Faulty

Hip osteoporosis affects one out of every four seniors. This disease, along with bone death, trauma, arthritis, obesity and other hip conditions, may require hip replacement.

Every year, there are more than 450,000 hip replacement surgeries in the United States. Hip replacement is intended to alleviate pain and increase mobility. Recently, however, some patients have received faulty hip implants that have led to just the opposite.

Stryker Orthopaedics’ Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip systems, which were recalled in July 2012, have been blamed for many hip replacement complications.

Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implants

The Rejuvenate and ABG II systems included many neck and stem pieces of varying sizes, which allowed surgeons to provide a custom fit for individual patients. The implants were targeted toward young hip replacement patients and were supposed to provide added stability.

Unfortunately, after 20,000 U.S. patients received the implants, problems were documented and the devices were recalled. For those patients, the warnings came too late.

Serious Complications of Implants

The design of the Rejuvenate and ABG II appears to have been flawed. Instead of providing stability and easing pain, the implants can shed metal into a patient’s tissues, bloodstream and bones.

The most common complications result from the metal neck pieces rubbing against the metal stem pieces, which leads to corrosion. Patients may also be forced to deal with metal poisoning, tissue death, bone dissolution, pseudo-tumors and intense pain. Typically, these patients will require revision surgery to have a second hip implant put in. Revision surgeries can be expensive and extremely painful.

Recall and Litigation

Because of these complications, Stryker issued an “Urgent Safety Alert” in April 2012, informing physicians and patients of the hazards of the devices. The alert stated that the devices were responsible for “excessive metal debris and ion generation.”

In hopes of avoiding additional patient injuries, Stryker recalled the Rejuvenate and ABG II on July 6, 2012. The devices were taken off the market, and distribution was discontinued.

Patients who received one of the defective implants should contact their physician if they have any pain. Blood tests, MRIs and X-rays can be used to determine whether metal poisoning has occurred.

Many patients who are suffering from implant problems have filed lawsuits against Stryker. More than 50 lawsuits have been consolidated in New Jersey state courts. Since 20,000 people have received these dangerous implants, the number of claims is expected to grow considerably.

Alanna Ritchie is a content writer for Drugwatch, specializing in news about prescription drugs, medical devices and consumer safety.

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