Metal on Metal Hip Implants
In 2012, Stryker notified consumers and the FDA about risks associated with its Rejuvinate and ABG II hip replacement products. Both Rejuvinate and ABG II were ‘modular’ systems, the purpose of which was to furnish surgeons with maximum flexibility…and, undoubtedly, to furnish Stryker Corp with maximum possible profitability. However, all of that profit and all of that flexibility came at unforeseen expense – the chronic pain of patients carrying the implants, and the destruction of the tissue surrounding the implanted devices.
Patients suffer because the metal-on-metal design flaked metal parts that caused pain, swelling, and loosening to and around the implants – and of course expensive revision surgeries. The complications associated with the Rejuvinate and ABG II products are extensive and lawsuits are being filed.
Stryker recalled both products in the summer of 2012 – If you have been implanted with either the Rejuvinate or the ABG II modular implant systems, first, consult with your doctor; second, telephone Traywick & Traywick in order to recover for your damages.
One type of medical device that has exhibited an alarming rate of failure is the metal-on-metal hip implant. DePuy Orthopaedics is one manufacturer of such an implant device that actually recalled its implant system: the Articular Surface Replacement XL Acetubular (ASR). DePuy is a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, one of the largest medical products manufacturers in the world, and one with a reputation for good quality controls.
Metal-on-metal joint replacements, like the ASR system that was recalled, work as follows – a metal sphere is utilized to connect the patient’s femur (upper leg bone) to a metal socket which is attached to the patient’s hip. Over time, the metal grates against itself and begins to break down, causing tiny metal particles to flow into the patient’s body over time. Obviously, such shards are a health hazard, and these devices should never have been cleared for consumers. The metal debris affects each patient differently, but over time the tissue near the implant begins to suffer – swelling, pain, loosening of the joint – and in some cases, evidently, ionized metal leeches into the bloodstream and can attack the heart, thyroid and, of course, the nervous system.
3500 Americans have filed suits against DePuy since the recall was formally noticed. But the company has been up to its eyeballs in lawsuits in connection with another of its metal-on-metal hip devices: the Pinnacle. Also,DePuy recalled its knee prosthetic product: LCSDuofix Femoral Component. This device was shedding metal that was causing patients severe pain, swelling, cysts and the destruction of tissue.
Zimmer Holdings Inc.
Zimmer’s all-metal hip implant device, Durom Cup, is no longer being distributed or marketed due to failure problems. The Durom Cup was designed for younger people specifically, so that the Durom Cup would last longer than devices already on the market – but many, many of the Durom Cup devices failed far too soon, oftentimes within just a few years.
In 2008, Zimmer recalled its Durom Cup device, but it took too long after it had already received material information about the failures of the product for it to do so. Incalculable pain and harm occurred to patients needlessly, so that Zimmer could avoid a costly recall.