Howmedica Osteonics Corporation, a subsidiary of Stryker, is involved in hip replacement implant failure lawsuits. The New Jersey Supreme Court approved the consolidation of all pending and future state-based hip replacement implant failure lawsuits against Howmedica lawsuits within multicounty legislation. The products involved are Howmedica’s LFIT Anatomic Cobalt Chromium V40 femoral heads.
Metal-on-Metal Instead of Ceramic
The number of defective hip implant lawsuits against numerous manufacturers, including Stryker, coincide in recent years with a newer kind of hip implant component fashioned from metal alloys (metal-on-metal). The belief was that these new materials would extend the life of customary hip implants that used traditional materials such as ceramic. It was thought that this would expand the market to a growing, younger population base that would be more active and seeking more resilient and sturdier implants than that of a previous generation.
However, metal-on-metal implants and other newer designs have proven to be problematic. These products entered the market through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 510(k) fast track process. This approval procedure allows a new product to enter the market without undergoing the normally rigorous testing and is “substantially equivalent” to a product already approved by the FDA.
The national law firm Parker Waichman LLP has extensive experience in medical device lawsuits, including allegedly defective hip implant litigation. Attorneys at the firm are available to answer any questions for those individuals seeking legal information.
Stryker Voluntary Recall of Femoral Heads
In August 2016, Stryker voluntarily recalled certain lots of its femoral heads. The components under scrutiny were manufactured prior to March 2011 and were recalled due to “higher than expected” complaints about the failure of the femoral heads to completely lock onto the stem at the stem-head taper junction, also known as “taper lock failure.”
This past April, federal defective hip implant lawsuits were consolidated in federal court in Massachusetts by the U.S Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL).
Interestingly, the Supreme Court, in its ruling went beyond the specific components that had been recalled by Stryker, and opened the multicounty litigation to femoral heads that were not included in last summer’s recall. A hip replacement lawyer working with Stryker plaintiffs noted that in the view of plaintiffs, the problem with the femoral heads is not limited to their design, but instead encompasses their connection with the titanium alloy femoral stems related to the Stryker Accolade, Meridian and Citation products.
It has been reported that Stryker wanted the multicounty litigation limited to just the recalled femoral heads. However, due to the alleged failure of other femoral heads not linked to the recall, the Supreme Court chose the option to include failures of non-recalled femoral heads.
A focal point of the alleged hip replacement implant failure is corrosion at the point where the head and neck intersect. The corrosion is significant enough to cause the femoral head to break free from the neck of the stem. This kind of failure would necessitate immediate revision surgery.
Patients who received the Stryker LFIT V40 femoral head experienced a variety of problems with their artificial hip, including severe pain, cobalt/chromium poisoning (metallosis), inflammation, joint instability, loss of movement, and joint dislocation. These symptoms were the result of taper lock failure.
Metallosis is a serious condition that over time may develop when components of the artificial hip rub together during everyday movements. Minute metallic debris is created that may enter the patient’s bloodstream and severely damage muscle and tissue. In addition to metallic debris in the bloodstream, recipients of the metal-on-metal hips have reported numerous complications that include pain, loosening of the joint, hip dislocation, difficulty walking, and cysts around the joints. Thousands of patients filed lawsuits over such injuries and complications that continue to increase in numbers.
The case of Stryker LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads Litigation will be tried in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, County of Bergen.
Previous Stryker Hip Recalls
In July 2012, Stryker Orthopaedics recalled a hip replacement system that includes both the Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular-neck hip stems. This hip replacement system, along with other similar metal-on-metal hip replacement devices has been linked to infection, soreness, squeaking joints, and other complaints. The failure of these devices that may lead to metallosis, necrosis, and tissue inflammation may lead to a variety of potential long-term complications.
Have You Been Injured by a Stryker Hip Replacement Device?
If you or someone you know has sustained injury involving a metal-on-metal hip implant, such as a Stryker hip implant, you may be eligible for valuable compensation. Parker Waichman personal injury law firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).