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Stryker Recall: “Courage in the Face of Adversity”

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Chicago, ILThis should never have happened to a guy like Mark Stephan. A guy who has been through hell and back and yet has beaten the odds with an inspirational show of strength and determination that culminated in a cross-country recumbent bicycle ride by someone who was never expected to walk again. His story was featured on the TODAY show. Now, Mark Stephan is faced with an almost impossible decision thanks to the Stryker Orthopedics Rejuvenate Modular Hip System Recall.

The latter is a hip replacement system that’s part of the new-age stock of implants designed to work better and last longer than their more traditional counterparts. This is especially important for today’s active, middle-aged Americans who are not content, in their mid-50s, to coast leisurely toward retirement and spend the rest of their days playing golf. Stephan, upon receiving his Stryker hip implant in 2011, was expecting to have an opportunity to further his remarkable journey since a 2007 bicycle accident effectively left him a quadriplegic. Now, he faces Stryker orthopedics metallosis.

He has also filed a Stryker recall lawsuit.

“The reason it makes me angry is because no person has worked as hard as I have, who had been in a compromised situation to bring myself back,” Stephan said, in comments aired by WMAQ 5 NBC Chicago (9/10/13). “There are others out there like me, and Stryker needs to be held accountable.”

Stephan’s story is one of true inspiration. A successful businessman, Stephan worked as hard at his health as he did on the job, keeping fit through the running of marathons and participation in Ironman events. Then, in 2007, a bicycle accident partially severed his spine and Stephan wasn’t expected to walk again.

He beat the odds, through pioneering treatment and sheer determination. He went on to climb the stairs of the famed Willis Tower in Chicago during a charity event - 103 stories - and also pedaled cross-country on a recumbent bicycle, clocking 3,000 miles in 76 days. His is a story of positivity in the face of almost impossible hardship, and his is a story that has inspired thousands with his “can-do” attitude no matter what.

Attorneys helping him with his hip replacement lawsuit say that of all people, Stephan does not deserve to be facing yet another hardship considering all he’s been through.

Prosthetic hips are historically supposed to last, with normal wear and tear, upwards of 15 years. In recent years a new batch of artificial hips made of metal has been lauded as having many advantages over hips fashioned from more traditional materials.

However, the reality for many patients has been that the metals in their Stryker artificial hips and other so-called metal-on-metal products begin to corrode. Such is the reason behind the Stryker Orthopedics Rejuvenate Modular Hip System Recall.

Beyond the obvious concern over a failing implant and the impact that would have on an individual’s mobility is the concern over metallosis - the process of minute metallic particles and ions from the corroding metal making their way into the bloodstream and negatively impacting the long-term health of the patient.

Stephan, who rode across country to raise money and awareness for the rehab center that helped him to walk again, is angry because his hip is failing just two years following implantation. But his Stryker recall lawsuit lawyer is angry at Stryker for designing an allegedly defective system that has resulted in Stephan being in the position he is in, through no fault of his own.

Stephan has worked so hard, and has inspired so many people with his pluck and determination. And now, according to 5 NBC, he faces the potential for liver and kidney damage from Stryker orthopedics metallosis - or yet another painful surgery and recovery to have the failing implant replaced.


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