Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the Stryker Corporation is one of the largest medical equipment and orthopedic device manufacturers in the world. Some of the company's most popular offerings are various hip replacement systems, designed to be more durable and provide younger, more active patients with a greater range of motion.
However, not all hip replacement patients have had good experiences with their Stryker hip implants. In fact, some patients developed serious health complications due to flaws in the design of the devices, many of which may necessitate painful revision or reconstructive surgeries to remove and replace the failed or defective device. If you've had a hip replacement, knowing how to spot the signs of a failed or defective implant is essential to maintaining your health.
Stryker Hip Implant Design Flaws and Complications
The Stryker Corporation has issued several voluntary recalls for its hip replacement products in recent years, including a recall of its Accolade TMZF® hip stem in 2011, and its Rejuvenate® and ABG II® modular-neck stems in 2012. Each of these hip devices featured a metal-on-metal design that was supposed to offer exceptional durability, but instead created a whole host of problems for patients implanted with them.
One of the most common complications associated with Stryker metal-on-metal hip implants is metallosis, a form of poisoning that can occur when small metal particles are released into the tissue due to grinding of the device's metal components. These metal-on-metal implants can also cause a number of other excruciatingly painful side effects, such as tissue and bone death around the surgical site, and even implant failure.
In some cases, patients may require revision surgery to remove and replace the faulty hip implant. If the implant caused serious damage to the surrounding bone, a reconstructive surgery may also be necessary. These surgeries are generally considered far more painful and invasive than the original hip replacement surgery, as doctors often have to break the attached prosthetic implant away from the bone. Additionally, people who have these corrective surgeries face a long and grueling rehabilitation period, as well as an increased risk for surgical complications, including infection; blood clots; damage to the nerves or blood vessels; deep venous thrombosis; pulmonary embolism; and excessive bleeding.
Signs of a Defective Implant
Knowing the signs of a defective Stryker hip implant can help ensure that patients seek treatment as soon as possible. If your orthopedic surgeon used Stryker metal-on-metal hip replacement components, contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
- Pain at the site of the implant
- Pain in the groin and abdomen
- Hip instability resulting in trouble standing or walking
- Loss of muscle due to reduced mobility
- Trouble moving due to pain
- Hip dislocation
- Inflammation of the implant site
- Damage to the surrounding tissue
- Loss of bone mass
Before determining that revision or reconstructive surgery is necessary, your doctor can run blood tests to confirm metallosis, or order an x-ray or MRI to check for bone or tissue death, hip dislocation, and total implant failure. Any additional surgeries have to be planned with extreme caution, taking the patient's age, health, and risk factors into consideration.
Did You Suffer Health Problems Due to a Faulty Stryker Hip Implant?
Thousands of hip replacement patients and their families have filed lawsuits against Stryker seeking compensation for health problems caused by faulty implants. If you suffered health problems related to a Stryker hip implant, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries.
McGartland Law is in the process of coordinating litigation on behalf of Stryker hip implant victims nationwide. In addition to a proven track record of helping Stryker victims get back on their feet—sometimes quite literally—the firm also has 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases for clients all across the country. Contact McGartland Law today to arrange an appointment for a free case consultation.