According to orthopedic experts, another huge defective hip recall crisis is brewing and Stryker Orthopedics will face the brunt of it. Stryker’s total hip replacement medical devices, involving its large LFIT-V40 chrome/cobalt heads have been reported in medical publications to cause catastrophic dissociation (this is where the femoral head snaps off) or metallosis (metal poisoning) requiring emergency revision surgery.
Stryker last faced a major hip device recall in 2012 with the recall of its popular Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABGII modular hip stem devices. After multiple lawsuits and delay, the company agreed to pay $1.4 billion to settle defective product liability and personal injury claims against it.
What is the Stryker Hip Defect problem?
Failure of the stem occurs from corrosion leading to erosion at the head-neck juncture of the hip implant. This serious metallic corrosion weakens the important juncture between two key pieces in Stryker’s implant design.
The corrosion involves the head (the metal ball which fits within the acetabular shell) and the neck of the stem connecting the head to the femur.
Catastrophic dissociation is much more severe than a typical metal corrosion case. With catastrophic dissociation, the actual neck of the stem is weakened to the point of breaking.
In typical metal-on-metal cases (MoM), the head and the liner (or acetabular shell) are both made of similar metals, usually cobalt, chromium, molybdenum and/or titanium.
These components grind against each other leading to wear and tear, causing a corrosive process which can cause severe pain and the need for revision as well as elevated metal levels resulting in a condition known as “metallosis.”
Why is the hip damage so severe?
In a case of catastrophic dissociation, damage is more severe, if corrosion has eaten away at the neck and has caused a break at the head-neck junction, the patient will have to undergo a much more invasive revision surgery with complete removal of an in-grown stem.
A complete removal of the stem was necessary in the more recent Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II litigation. In that litigation, the failure mode was at the neck/stem junction (which was modular) and due to corrosive wear at the stem, required full stem removal.
Serious problems can always occur after any surgery, and many Stryker LFIT v40 femoral head victims will require multiple revisions, suffered dislocations after revision, and be exposed to infections in the hospital setting.
The fixed stem removal operation is very surgically challenging because the stems are designed to promote the patient’s bone to grow into the stem’s rough surface. This makes the stem a permanent part of the patient’s femur bone.
Surgical removal requires breaking the stem free from the bone which often fractures the femur. Some cases are so severe; they require the surgeon to perform an extended trochanteric osteotomy. This procedure involves cutting the femur in half, removal of the stem and then wires and cables to put the femur back together so a replacement stem can be placed.
Hip Implant Revision not without long term complications
Unfortunately revision surgery does not reduce many long term problems, patients develop permanent soft tissue damage, muscle and bone destruction caused by the metal wear debris. Surgeons cannot remove that metallic debris from the hip tissues so it remains in the patient after the defective stem is replaced with a new one.
If you think you may have a Stryker V40 Head or a Stryker Accolade TMZF stem and are experiencing pain potentially caused by metal corrosion or have suffered a spontaneous dissociation necessitating full revision and emergency care, please call us.