A Florida attorney who recently underwent surgery to replace his failed Stryker metal-on-metal hip implant has joined thousands of patients nationwide who have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of the devices.
The man initially underwent hip replacement surgery in order to continue athletic activities that had become difficult because of the deterioration of his hip. But the Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant itself became a problem: the rubbing of metal against metal released metal particles into surrounding tissue, causing pain and damage, the Sun-Sentinel newspaper reports.
Metal-on-metal hip implants, whose design forces metal to rub against metal during daily activity, have caused problems for many recipients. Metal particles are shed into surrounding tissue and into the bloodstream, causing bone and tissue damage, metallosis, pseudotumors, and the need for early revision surgery to remove and replace the implant.
Last year, Stryker began a voluntary recall of the Rejuvenate hip implant model and began paying for medical treatment, saying some patients might have “possible pain and/or swelling at or around the hip,” according to a company statement, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Many other all-metal hip devices have been recalled.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidelines for patients with metal-on-metal hip implants. The FDA warned that the devices can cause bone and tissue damage due to the release of metal ions. Patients who experience pain, swelling, a change in their ability to walk, or hear noises coming from the hip (popping, squeaking, grinding) are advised to speak with their physicians. Symptomatic patients should be considered for metal ion testing, the agency said. The FDA also recommended regular physical examinations and routine radiographs and diagnostic imaging for people who have metal-on-metal hip implants.
In March, a Los Angeles jury awarded the plaintiff $8.34 million in damages in the first trial over a metal-on-metal implant, the DePuy ASR hip device, the Sun-Sentinel reports. The jury decided that the ASR device had damaged Loren Kransky’s hip tissue and surrounding muscles. The DePuy device, like the Stryker Rejuvenate, had two metal components that can corrode or wear when in constant contact with each other, the suit claimed.