Connie thinks her Stryker hip replacement is way past its shelf life. Unfortunately, she can’t simply get a new one. “I had a total hip replacement in 2007 and my doctor told me that I have a Stryker Rejuvenate,” she says. “Since then I have gone back to my surgeon countless times. I still can’t sleep on my side - either side - because the pain is so bad and since getting this replacement I haven’t had a full night’s sleep because the pain wakes me up in the middle of the night.
“I was prescribed Percocet but narcotics wreak havoc with my digestion and I was afraid of getting addicted, so I have been taking either Tylenol or Advil every day for the past six years.”
Connie’s surgeon says the pain is due to scar tissue, but since hearing about the Stryker Orthopedics Rejuvenate Modular Hip System Recall, Connie can’t help but wonder if she is experiencing metal rubbing on metal. Her surgeon is reluctant to discuss revision surgery so Connie’s alternative is to get a second opinion, which comes out of her pocket. “I am hopeful that a Stryker lawsuit will take care of the extra medical bills,” she adds.
Joseph received his Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Implant in 2008. He says it never felt comfortable but this year he has experienced pain to the point where he cannot walk or sit for any length of time. “So much for my golden years,” he says. “I haven’t played golf once this year and my game was the biggest thing I was looking forward to after retiring.”
Last year Joseph received a letter from Tucson Orthopedics advising him to get blood tests for cobalt levels because his hip was in the recalled lot and it could be “experiencing fretting,” meaning that metal particles could have rubbed off the metal-on-metal hip and wound up in his bloodstream. “The blood test showed that my cobalt level was high but ‘within limits,’ whatever that means,” says Joseph. “My surgeon wanted me to get an MRI because x-rays are inconclusive but that isn’t going to happen because I have a pacemaker. So my only choice is getting hip revision surgery and I won’t be getting another Stryker hip.”
Hip replacements typically have a life span of about 15-20 years and some people have their hip devices for up to 30 years, depending upon the individual’s health and activity level.
The BMJ (British Medical Journal) says that “Failure of a hip replacement requiring revision surgery occurs at a rate of approximately 1 percent per year for the first 15 years. Beyond eight years acetabular component loosening is more common than failure of the femoral component. Late aseptic loosening of components is the commonest reason for implant failure causing approximately 75 percent of failures. The three next most common reasons for implants requiring revision are infection, technical errors at the time of surgery, and recurrent dislocation.”
But a later BMJ report (published in 2011) suggested that patients who receive a metal-on-metal hip replacement device have approximately double the risk of undergoing hip revision surgery.
Another report in 2011 by the National Joint Registry for England and Wales warned of increased metal-on-metal failure rates, with up to a 30 percent failure rate in patients who had a metal-on-metal hip six years ago - about the same time as Carol and Joseph.
Stryker Hip Replacement Lawsuits Update
READ MORE STRYKER ORTHOPEDICS REJUVENATE LEGAL NEWS
Meanwhile, On September 9, 2013, the federal multidistrict litigation is scheduled to hold its initial status conference.
According to court documents, several Stryker hip replacement lawsuits have been slotted for an early mediation, designated by New Jersey Superior Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti. A mediation session has been ordered no later than December 15, 2013.