Securing Compensation for Victims of Dangerous Medical Devices
The advancement of medically-engineered human bone and socket reconstruction components has been one of the greatest creations of recent medical technology. In the past, invasive hip surgery was a regular undertaking for older citizens. The replacement of the hip joint was a difficult, but necessary, procedure to increase the quality of life for a number of Americans.
However, some people were unable to undergo hip replacement surgeries due to their age and the expectation that the net outcome of the surgery would be negative. The surgeries themselves were major undertakings that required 3-4 months of healing. Time many patients can't afford. Additionally, the hip components that were placed into the patient’s leg would not last for very long.
Thankfully, modern procedures and components in hip surgeries have made things much better for the general public.
The Advancement of Hip Replacements
The modern technology of hip replacements has done wonders for the American public. On average, a 40-year-old who needs a hip replacement today is looking at 2 hip replacements surgeries in his lifetime, as opposed to 4 in the past. The components of today typically last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, with some materials withstanding 3 decades of wear and tear. While surgeries make the transition of components possible, the advancement of these components is what drives the necessity of multiple surgeries. Better components means less problems and longer periods of time between replacement surgeries.
However, as with any good business model, medical research and technology
companies are always pushing the envelope of what can be achieved. Medical
technology companies look for improvements: ways that they can increase
the efficiency of their devices in order to corner the market by having
the best product.
While the consumer usually benefits by competition between medical companies, sometimes the quest for industry dominance becomes more important than reasonable quality control.
Hip replacement components have traditionally been created using polyethylene in combination with metal to form a strong supportive structure that withstands socket fractures. In addition to the strengths of the materials, the polyethylene and metal prosthesis has had a long medical record of simple expectations and foreseeable outcomes. While possibly not the strongest combination of materials that could be used for a hip replacement, doctors and surgeons have become comfortable in using polyethylene structures for the simple reason that they work, and that their medical complications are limited.
The Stryker Hip Replacement Debacle
In the medical field, pioneering a new way of doing things is a difficult endeavor. Competing against traditional treatments, branching out and trying something new is a daunting. Often, years of extensive trials, tests, and results are gathered before a treatment option is ever made available to the general public. If all these tests pass, the product will be released to hospitals for general use.
When things start to go wrong for a new advancement, usually every precaution is taken and all the products are recalled. In the case of the recently created Stryker hip replacement products, this had not been the case.
Between the early to late 2000’s, Stryker created a new prosthesis that used metal-on-metal hardware for a variety of new hip replacement components. The metal was created using a titanium alloy: a mixture of titanium, molybdenum, zirconium, and iron. The TMZF alloy was used in different products, leading to a variety of categories of hip replacement materials being made of TMZF. These new prosthetics were thought to be more stable than traditional polyethylene and metal prostheses.For this reason, the new TMZF alloy was given to younger adults who were dealing with hip problems that needed surgical repair. Stryker claimed the TMZF line would help younger adults avoid multiple surgeries, as the TMZF alloy could withstand corrosion and fretting. They were wrong.
The ABG II & Rejuvenate Models
The ABG II and the Rejuvenate hip replacement models were two of the various hip replacement prosthetic lines created with TMZF. These lines did not contain ball-and-socket replacement parts, they were made with new technology that was supposed to allow doctors to “fit the hips” of patients. The technology had interchangeable necks and stems meant to give patients greater stability in everyday life. However, many patients were unable to reach the full effects of the new technology because of the TMZF alloy.
The TMZF alloy had terrible side effects on patients, which Stryker failed to foresee. The necks of the Rejuvenate and ABG models were made of cobalt and chromium, which rubbed against the stem of titanium. This friction caused metal particles to rub off of the stem and run into the patient’s bloodstream. In 2012, Stryker made a recall of the Rejuvenate and ABG models, stating that the prosthetic had fretting and corrosion issues that resulted in pain, swelling, and tissue damage for users.
Worse, Stryker advised doctors to examine the blood of the prosthetic users in hopes that the patient would be clear of any metal in the bloodstream due to TMZF side effects. In 2014, Stryker paid out $1 billion to settle thousands of cases regarding the ABG II and Rejuvenate model issues. However, these models were not the only ones to contain the TMZF alloy.
The TMZF Alloy & 2016 Recall
On October 9, 2016, a recall was announced by the FDA regarding Stryker products that contained the Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Heads (metal) that were manufactured as early as 2006.
This recall was made by Stryker for a number of hip replacement lots, some of which include:
- Accolade TMZF stems
- Accolade 2 stems
- Meridian stems
- Citation Stems
These stems were recalled for, unsurprisingly, the same issues (corrosion) as the ABG II and Rejuvenate models. The connection between the ABG II, the Rejuvenate, and the models being recalled in 2016? All of the stems contain the TMZF alloy.
Is Your Stryker Hip Replacement Causing You to Experience Any of the Following?
- Pain in Hip
- Loss of Mobility
- Adverse Local Tissue Reaction
- Joint Instability
- Bone Fracture Surrounding Component
- Need of Revision Surgery
If so, it is important that you seek professional legal counsel as soon as possible.
Call (888) 498-3023 to Schedule a Free Case Review
The Pennsylvania injury lawyers at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC are ready to act on behalf of those who are suffering from defective Stryker hip replacement models. Our firm believes that if you are suffering from a medical device defect due to Stryker, you have the right to pursue justice through the use of award winning representation. With over 100 years of representing consumers just like you, our medical defect attorneys can help you get the answers you need concerning your case.
Reach out to us by calling (888) 498-3023 now. We offer free consultations to help you obtain peace of mind.