Stryker Orthopaedics has produced several metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants that do not function as they should, leading to massive recalls and lawsuits. The latest is Stryker’s Accolade V40 femoral head, about which Stryker has issued a hazard alert warning against possible health risks, like loss of mobility, inflammation, dislocation, leg length discrepancy, and even the need for revision surgery.
If you received a Stryker hip implant and have experienced unforeseen side effects, and you require(d) revision surgery as a result, please contact us today to learn your rights. You may qualify for a lawsuit that could help you pay medical bills and other expenses related to your Stryker device.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH STRYKER HIP IMPLANTS?
The trouble with metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants is that when the metal ball and socket rub against each other, metal particles can be released into the bloodstream, leading to cobalt chromium poisoning. For that reason, many orthopedics companies have ceased production of MoM implants.
Health agencies around the world—including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Canada, and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)—have expressed concern about MoM hip implants. Many agencies advise blood testing and imaging to ensure patients don’t have metal poisoning.
The FDA says MoM patients should pay extra close attention to their general health, as some medical literature suggests MoM hip implants can lead to systemic reactions elsewhere in the body.
As noted elsewhere, these types of implants have spawned massive recalls and thousands of lawsuits, two of which—concerning Stryker’s ABG II and Rejuvenate hip stems—were settled to the tune of $1.4 billion.
But the Stryker Accolade V40 femoral head is still on the market. It has not been recalled, but in October 2016 Stryker issued a hazard alert warning doctors and patients of potential side effects that may be caused by seven models of Stryker V40 femoral heads, which are used in metal-on-metal (MoM) hip replacement procedures.
The side effects outlined in the Stryker alert include the following:
- Loss of mobility
- Pain & inflammation
- Adverse tissue reaction
- Joint instability
- Broken bones
- Leg length discrepancy
- Need for revision surgery
Though the alert is not technically a recall, it could certainly discourage surgeons and patients from pursuing total hip replacements that include a Stryker V40 femoral head.
The Accolade V40 has been recalled in Canada and Australia. Still, there are an estimated 44,000 hip implants (globally) that utilize this potentially defective femoral head.
WHAT ARE SOME NOTABLE HIP IMPLANT LAWSUITS?
As seen below, there is a strong precedent for settlement and awards in hip replacement lawsuits.
Stryker’s Rejuvenate & ABG II Hip Stems
In addition to the V40 femoral head, Stryker also manufactured the Rejuvenate and ABG II hip stems, both of which were recalled in 2012. These hip stems generated a flood of lawsuits filed by patients who suffered complications after their hip replacement surgeries. Many would need a second (or revision) hip surgery.
In the fall of 2014, Stryker agreed to pay $1.43 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits concerning its ABG II and Rejuvenate hip stems. Under the settlement, each plaintiff could receive as much as $600,000 in damages.
Johnson & Johnson/DePuy’s ASR Hip Implants
In August 2010, Johnson & Johnson’s Depuy Orthopaedics announced it was recalling two hip replacement systems, the ASR Hip Resurfacing System and the ASR XL Acetabular System due to unwanted side effects like metal poisoning.
The National Joint Registry of England and Wales claimed that within five years, one in eight patients who received the recalled hip implants would require revision surgery. DePuy itself estimated that roughly 10,000 patients would need revision surgery.
These hip issues led to thousands of lawsuits filed by affected patients. In November 2013, J&J announced it would pay $2.5 billion to resolve about 8,000 ASR lawsuits. That settlement sum included $250,000 for each patient to cover a revision surgery.
Johnson & Johnson/DePuy’s Pinnacle Hip Implants
DePuy’s Pinnacle hip implants have not yet been recalled, but they have caused similar side effects to the ASR models and generated thousands of lawsuits by affected patients.
In March 2016, a jury in Dallas, Texas awarded $502 million to patients who said their failed Pinnacle devices had caused pain and would require (or had required) revision surgeries. (A judge later reduced this award to $150 million.)
In another bellwether trial that came to a close in December 2016, a Texas jury awarded $1 billion to six plaintiffs who needed revision surgeries because of painful side effects caused by their Pinnacle hip implants. According to Reuters, these side effects included tissue death and bone erosion. (A judge later cut this award in half.)
There are still about 8,400 more Pinnacle cases currently on trial in North Texas courts as an MDL (multi-district litigation). This is a bellwether trial for Pinnacle, which means its outcome will influence other Pinnacle lawsuits and perhaps persuade J&J to settle future cases.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A STRYKER HIP IMPLANT LAWSUIT?
According to the FDA, the following symptoms may indicate that a hip implant is not functioning properly if they occur more than three months after surgery:
- Hip, leg, or groin pain
- Swelling around the hip joint
- Popping, grinding, clicking, or squeaking sounds from the hip
- A limp or change in mobility
In addition, patients should monitor their bodies for symptoms of metal poisoning:
- Impaired kidney function
- Thyroid problems like weight gain, neck discomfort, fatigue, chills
- Depression, cognitive impairment, or other psychological issues
- Skin rashes
- Hearing or vision problems
- Cardiomyopathy (weakened or enlarged heart muscle)
If you or a loved one have suffered any of the side effects listed above, and/or had to undergo revision surgery due to a defective Stryker hip implant, you could be eligible for a lawsuit. Contact us to learn more.
WHAT TYPES OF COMPENSATION CAN ONE RECEIVE THROUGH A STRYKER LAWSUIT?
Stryker hip implant lawsuits can recover compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses/hospital bills
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Attorney/legal fees
- Any other damages deemed fair and reasonable
Please note that our firm operates on a contingency basis, which means you do not owe us anything unless we secure an appropriate verdict or settlement (in which case, your attorney fees will come from the amount we procure).
WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP IN PURSUING A STRYKER HIP IMPLANT LAWSUIT?
For people who have undergone the difficult process of hip surgery, discovering that their new hip is defective can be truly devastating—financially, physically, and emotionally.
We can help. If you or a loved one has a metal-on-metal hip implant, contact us today for a free consultation—even if you are unsure which type of hip implant you have received.
You may be able to hold the manufacturer responsible and get relief for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.