Call Us Today for a FREE CONSULTATION 205-933-1500

Common Questions About Stryker Hip Implants

The following are questions you may have if you believe that you or a loved one is experiencing complications after receiving a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG-II modular-neck hip stem implant. Please note that this is only general information. You should speak with a lawyer from Belt & Bruner in order to get answers to specific questions about your case and to receive a free review of the unique facts and legal issues that your case presents. Our legal team is available to speak with you right away. Simply call or submit our online form. How do I know what type of hip implant I have? The operative report from the hospital will identify your specific implant. Your surgeon should also have the implant labels, which are often called Chart-Stick labels. What should I do if I received a recalled Stryker modular-neck stem? Always consult your doctor or surgeon regarding health-related issues. However, if you or someone you care about received defective joint replacement components, our law firm would like to speak with you right away. DO NOT SIGN A RELEASE FROM THE SURGEON OR STRYKER. The release will allow Stryker to have complete access to your medical records. It also will allow Stryker to obtain the failed implant in the event it is removed. What should I do if I have pain and/or swelling around my hip? If you have pain and/or swelling in or around your replaced hip, you should schedule an office visit with your surgeon to discuss your symptoms and have a blood test for cobalt and chromium. Your surgeon may also perform radiographs such as X-rays, MRIs or CT scans to check for inflammation, fluid build-up or pseudotumor formation in the joint. What should I do if I have one of these hip implants, but I don’t have any pain or swelling? Even if you do not have symptoms at this time, you should at least visit your orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation and to have a cobalt/chromium blood test performed. You should continue the post-operative plan outlined by your surgeon. Do I need revision or corrective surgery if I have the recalled hip implant? You may potentially need surgery. If you have high cobalt levels (above seven) in addition to pain or mobility problems, your surgeon might recommend surgery to replace and remove the stem. This is a difficult decision you must make based on your surgeon’s recommendation. Numerous medical studies have concluded that the only way to resolve elevated cobalt levels is to remove the components causing the metal particles to be released into the bloodstream. Should I communicate with Stryker or sign anything from them? No. You should contact a lawyer before communicating with Stryker and avoid signing a release. We do not recommend providing Stryker with a release or providing them with any of your medical records. Which metals are used to manufacture the modular-neck stem? The hip component parts are made of heavy metals such as cobalt, chromium and titanium. How do I obtain a blood test for heavy metals? You will need a prescription to go to a lab for this specific blood test for cobalt and chromium. Your primary care physician or your orthopedic surgeon can write this prescription. The results will be sent to the prescribing doctor. If I file a lawsuit, who would I be suing? You would be suing only the manufacturer of the hip implant – Howmedica Osteonics Corporation, a New Jersey company that does business as Stryker Orthopaedics. We do not sue the surgeon or hospital. Why are these products being voluntarily withdrawn from the market? Stryker recalled the Rejuvenate or ABG-II modular-neck hip stem implants on July 6, 2012, after the company received reports of “fretting and corrosion” around the neck taper junction. Medical studies have also indicated premature failures with these modular-neck stems, requiring corrective surgery. How would I know if my hip implant is experiencing fretting and corrosion? If you are experiencing pain or swelling in your hip not attributable to other conditions, such as aseptic loosening and periprosthetic sepsis, you could be experiencing fretting and corrosion. What are the effects of fretting and corrosion? Fretting and corrosion at the modular-neck junction can cause adverse local tissue reactions, which include necrosis and death of the tissue and bone, pain, swelling and impaired mobility. How many recalled hips were implanted? It is estimated that Stryker sold 30,000 Rejuvenate and ABG-II stems to be used in total hip replacement surgeries. It is estimated that 20,000 were sold in the United States. How many Stryker hips are failing? Stryker says that less than 1 percent (0.25 percent) of these hips fail. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more than 60 adverse event reports. We suspect this number could be substantially higher. Are the recalled Stryker hip implants considered “metal-on-metal?” No. The term “metal-on-metal” relates to the articulating surfaces between the ball and cup in a hip implant. Stryker recalled only the femoral stem and femoral neck, which hold the femoral ball. Stryker’s recalled hips were actually sold as an alternative to metal-on-metal hips because they were not “metal-on-metal.” Unfortunately, metal-on-metal hips and modular-neck stems are believed to have both failed for the exact same reason – metal toxicity. Why did Stryker manufacture and market the modular-neck hip stems? Stryker claims that interchangeable necks supplied in a variety of sizes, lengths and angles allows the surgeon to adjust the hip prosthesis during hip surgery to correct the patient’s anatomy and biomechanics of the hip independent of the stem size. Stryker claims this also allows the surgeon to better place the femoral head in the center of the acetabular cup. However, the introduction of the neck-stem coupling increases the risk of mechanical failure. What component parts are recalled? Only the femoral stem and femoral neck have been recalled. The femoral head attaches to the metal neck. The femoral head and acetabular cup used in your total hip replacement have not been recalled. How long has Belt & Bruner been investigating hip implant cases? Since August 2010, Belt & Bruner has reviewed hundreds of cases from across the country involving patients who received the recalled DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant. We continue to represent ASR DePuy hip implant clients and those with other metal-on-metal hip implants that have not been recalled. Since July 2012, we have been actively investigating the recalled Stryker hip implants. We are currently representing clients who received these devices.

For More Information