More Issues with Stryker Hip Implants

Author: Jason W. Konvicka, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Stryker LFIT V40

Stryker has already settled for over one billion dollars due to complications surrounding its Rejuvenate and ABG II hip stems. Stryker now faces further litigation as its LFIT V40 line of hips come under scrutiny. We are seeing a significant increase in the number of Stryker LFIT V40 lawsuits being filed due to serious injuries including, but not limited to, metallosis.

More Issues with Stryker Hip Implants

Metallosis is caused by friction as the different metal parts of the hip implant rub against each other when the patient moves around. Over time, the metal components become corroded, leading to the release of metal particles in the patient’s bloodstream.

Stryker’s LFIT V40 devices in particular become corroded at the taper junction, the part that connects the LFIT femoral head to the hip stem. This, in turn, causes taper lock failure. Meanwhile, the metal particles released into the blood stream can lead to injuries such as metallosis, necrosis, osteolysis, and elevated cobalt and chromium levels in the blood. Other complications from the LFIT device include loss of mobility, pain, swelling and inflammation, adverse local tissue reaction, detachment of the femoral head, dislocation, instability, and fractured bones. 

On August 29, 2016, the manufacturer of Stryker hips, Howmedica, recalled 42,519 of the defective devices. In a letter issued to orthopedic surgeons, Howmedica advised of a “higher than expected” incidence of taper lock failure for certain sizes of its LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads.

We expect that Stryker will eventually craft a settlement plan for the LFIT, just as they have in the past for the Rejuvenate and ABG II; however, this remains to be seen. As of late, the Stryker LFIT cases have been consolidated on both a federal level in Massachusetts as well as on a state level in New Jersey. We are following these two jurisdictions closely to see which one will prove most favorable to our clients.  

The federal consolidation will be handled in Boston by US District Judge Indira Talwani. Judge Rachelle L. Harz of Bergen County will be overseeing the New Jersey state court consolidation. Bergen County is the same court that successfully handled the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip litigation – thus, we expect this litigation to be streamlined as the court is familiar with the issues of metallosis from hip implants and related regulatory issues.

We are currently handling cases for clients who have had a Stryker LFIT V40 implanted and we continue handling cases involving the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants. If you or someone you know has ever had a Stryker hip implant call Allen & Allen at 866-388-1307 or contact us and let our product liability lawyers help you obtain the settlement or verdict you deserve.

What is Metallosis?

Metallosis is a form of metal poisoning that may occur as a side effect of joint replacement devices with metal components, such as hip or knee implants. These implants can be made from several different metals or metal blends, including chromium, cobalt, nickel, titanium, and/or molybdenum. As the patient moves about, the metal parts rub against each other, releasing microscopic metal particles into the bloodstream and surrounding tissues.

What are some symptoms of a defective hip implant?

Symptoms may include hip/groin pain, local swelling, numbness, changes in your ability to walk, or elevated cobalt and chromium levels in the blood.

Additionally, lose metal particles may cause an adverse reaction around the joint, leading to deterioration of tissue, loosening of the implant, as well as failure of the device. Metal ions have also been reported in some patients to potentially cause other health issues, including:

  • General hypersensitivity reaction (skin rash)
  • Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle issues)
  • Neurological changes including sensory changes (auditory, or visual impairments)
  • Psychological status change (including depression or cognitive impairment)
  • Renal function impairment
  • Thyroid dysfunction (including neck discomfort, fatigue, weight gain or feeling cold)

Are metal-on-metal hip implant complications only due to the metal components?

No. In addition to the metal related complications, metal-on-metal hip implants have the same adverse effects as other types of hip implants, including: infection, loosening, bone loss, device or bone fracture, and joint dislocation.

When would I need a hip revision surgery?

There are a number of reasons why a surgeon may recommend a revision (a procedure where your hip implant is removed and replaced). These reasons can include infection, dislocation, loosening, and device fracture, and are applicable both metal and non-metal implants. Revision may also be considered if you develop evidence of reaction to the metal from your hip implant.

Some of the different hip implants which have been known to cause metallosis include:

  • Stryker LFIT V40
  • DePuy Pinnacle
  • Stryker ABG II
  • Stryker Rejuvenate
  • DePuy ASR
  • Zimmer Durom Cup
  • Corin USA Limited Cormet Hip Resurfacing System
  • Smith & Nephew, Inc. Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System
  • Smith & Nephew, Inc. R3 Acetabular System
  • Wright Medical Technology, Inc. CONSERVE® Plus Total Resurfacing Hip System

Are there risks associated with revision surgery?

Any surgical procedure has risks associated with it, including adverse reaction to the anesthesia, infection, bleeding, and blood clots. The procedure may be even more difficult if you had a local reaction to the implant that has affected your soft tissue and/or bone quality. The complexity of the surgery also depends on how well ingrown the femur bone is to the hip implant: the better the bony ingrowth the more difficult it is to remove the implant stem (should it be necessary to remove the stem).

We Want To Help

If you or someone you know has been affected by metallosis, you may have a product liability claim against an implant manufacturer.

At Allen and Allen, our lawyers have handled many complaints involving contaminated and/or defective pharmaceutical products. We know how to develop the evidence needed to win your case. We can review your claim to help you recover full and fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us at 1-866-388-1307.

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