Each year, thousands undergo hip replacement surgery. Artificial hip implantation is an orthopedic operation, to relieve arthritis pain, improve function and fix joint damage. Currently our hip implant injury lawyers represent a number of people who have claims against hip implant manufacturers like Styrker and DePuy. I suggest one carefully considers all non-invasive options, such as physical therapy and pain medication before having hip implant surgery.
Stryker Corporation describes themselves as the "worldwide market leader in Total Hip Replacement products". However, in July 6, 2012 it issued a voluntary recall of both the Rejuvenate and its ABGII modular-neck hip stems. The recall was made because the design of the implant caused corrosion of the hip junction. When this happens patients complain of local tissue reactions, pain, swelling, and in some cases metal toxicity.
All hip implants are known to release metal ions into the blood; even without metal-on-metal contact. When there is metal-on-metal abrasion, microscopic metal fragments (cobalt and chromium) seep into the blood stream. Patients with cobalt toxicity have cited a range of symptoms, both mental and physical. Neurological symptoms include: cognitive decline, memory difficulties, disorientation, depression and anorexia. Physical symptoms are much more extensive: impaired ability for of rapid movement, a continuous metal taste, severe headaches, weight loss, groin pain, dizziness, painful muscle limb fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting.
Sometimes, cobalt ions in the bloodstream are actually necessary for proper health function. Indeed, it has been cited that without cobalt in the body, severe anemia may result. However, most people get their cobalt from B-12 vitamins or from other natural sources. Patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements have been found to have more than 20 times the normal amount of cobalt metal in their blood level.
As early as February 2011, the FDA issued a patient advisory on metal-on-metal hip implants. On March 2012, there has been an international call based on the National Joint Registry of England and Whales for a ban on metal-on-metal hip implants, citing that they failed at a much greater rate than all other types of hip implants.
If you have recently undergone a hip replacement surgery, I urge you to contact your surgeon today to determine what kind of implant was used. If you have been implanted with a recalled device you may be entitled to money for your damages including: testing, treatment, revision surgery, lost income and other costs. Regardless, of whether or not you are experiencing side effects, it is very important to contact your doctor immediately to screen for metal ions as well as cross-sectional imaging.
We offer free legal consultations to anyone making a hip implant claim. We wish you the very best on your road to recovery.