Michigan-based Stryker Orthopaedics is a leading orthopedics manufacturer known for its popular line of joint replacement implant products. Designed for use in patients with degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis, hip deformities, or avascular necrosis (bone tissue death caused by inadequate blood supply), Stryker metal-on-metal total hip replacement systems were used in hundreds of thousands of patients in the United States in the years since they received fast-tracked approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While Stryker hip replacement implants can offer improved mobility for some patients, use of these devices is not without risks.
Contraindications for the Hip Implant Surgery
Total hip replacement surgery is not for everyone, as some patients may have other health conditions that could jeopardize the performance of the implants. Patients with severe hip joint instability, compromised bone tissue, certain types of infections, or an immature skeletal system aren't good candidates for Stryker total hip replacement systems, according to the manufacturer. These hip replacement devices are also contraindicated for patients who are extremely overweight, as well as those who have a neuromuscular disorder that would prevent the prosthesis from properly adhering to the bone or create complications in postoperative care.
As with any surgery, total hip replacement surgical procedures can carry serious risks for patients— – even if they're deemed a good candidate for the implants. The surgical risks associated with Stryker hip replacement surgeries include:
- Joint stiffness
- Bone fractures
- Fusion of hip joint
- Changes in leg length
- Nerve damage, or peripheral neuropathy
- Blood clots
- Deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots in the legs
- Genitourinary disorders, including kidney failure
- Gastrointestinal disorders, including loss of
intestinal digestive movement, or paralytic ileus
- Changes in blood pressure
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Bronchopulmonary embolism
In extreme cases, the surgical risks and complications of total hip replacement surgery can include amputation, stroke, heart attack, and even death.
Implant-Related Risks for Stryker Devices
In addition to the risks posed when undergoing a complex surgical procedure, the Stryker metal-on-metal hip implants have additional concerns. For example, these hip replacement systems can fail prematurely in some patients, leading to a number of painful side effects and serious complications, including:
- Loosening of the implant
- Imbalance of soft tissue
- Implant dislocation
- Sensitivity to metals
- Bone fractures
- Nerve damage
- Audible clicking or scraping sounds during movement
- Abnormal bone growth (heterotopic bone formation)
- Localized progressive bone loss (osteolysis)
Failing Stryker hip implants may also cause a form of metal poisoning, known as metallosis. This condition can occur when the components of metal-on-metal hip implants repeatedly rub against each other, releasing small metal shavings that build up in the surrounding soft tissue. Symptoms of metallosis can include:
- Discoloration of the skin surrounding the surgical site
- Inflammation, severe pain, or swelling around the implant
- Loosening or dislocation of the implant
- Deterioration of the bone surrounding the implant
If deemed serious enough, any of these complications may require the patient to undergo implant revision surgery, which is considered much more painful and invasive than the initial hip replacement procedure. In addition to subjecting the patient to surgical risks—including serious infections—for a second time, many revision surgeries require doctors to break the implant away from the bone, resulting in additional damage that may require a reconstructive surgery to correct. This entire process can be extremely painful and may keep patients out of work indefinitely.
Did You Suffer Complications From a Stryker Hip Implant?
If your Stryker metal-on-metal hip implant failed prematurely, causing excruciatingly painful symptoms or requiring invasive revision or reconstructive surgeries, you may be eligible to seek compensation from the device's manufacturer, Stryker Orthopaedics. Contact McGartland Law today to schedule an appointment for a free case consultation. Our skilled legal team accepts cases from clients all across the country and has 30 years of experienced handling personal injury cases, including dangerous or defective medical device lawsuits.