At the annual conference of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons earlier this year, Mayo Clinic researchers reported that 2.5 million Americans are living with artificial hips, surgically implanted when their natural joints degenerated or were fractured. Most of these patients found themselves with a new lease on life after their surgery, able to resume the normal activities they had enjoyed before their hips gave out. For thousands, however, the hip replacement devices led to disappointment, debilitating pain, and do-over surgery.
According to the FDA, between 1992 and 2011, nearly 40,000 patients suffered ‘adverse reactions’ from metal-on-metal hip joint replacements, including the Stryker Rejuvenate Modular-Neck and the ABG II Modular-Neck devices. The adverse reactions included metallosis (the release of metal ions into the tissue and blood stream); necrosis (premature tissue death); osteolysis (bone dissolution); and pain and loosening of the hip implant, requiring revision surgery. In 2012, Stryker announced a recall of these two products. Thousands of lawsuits followed.
On November 3, 2014, a global settlement was announced in which Stryker Orthopedics agreed to pay patients injured by these hip replacement devices a base payment of $300,000, which may be adjusted upwards or downwards depending on individual circumstances. The settlement is expected to cost the company more than $1 billion. Importantly, the settlement is open-ended – claims may continue to be filed until March 2, 2015, by patients who underwent revision surgery by November 3, 2014. Payments will begin in the summer of 2015.
There are undoubtedly many people who received a replacement Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip who have not yet had to have revision surgery, but this doesn’t mean they won’t fall victim to future serious health consequences as the devices shed metal particles in their tissues. These patients may continue to file legal claims for compensation outside of the recent settlement fund.
If you or your loved one received a Stryker hip replacement device and suffered devastating consequences instead of the rejuvenation and relief from pain that you were expecting, the Louthian Law Firm can help you obtain just compensation. Contact us at (803) 454-1200 without delay.