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Dramatic Rise In Hip Replacement Procedures

Hip Replacements on the RiseRecent studies have revealed that more Americans are the recipients of total hip replacements than ever and that patients are receiving hip replacements at younger ages than before. There are more people living in the United States with hip or knee replacements now than people who are being treated for heart failure.

With the increase in hip replacements comes the need for better and more advanced ongoing care to reduce complications. The recent mass torts against companies such as Stryker and DePuy highlight the reality that not enough has been done to ensure the safety of patients and the longevity of the products that they rely on for mobility.

Who is most likely to Need Hip Replacements

Roughly 2.5 million Americans are living with a hip replacement and women are more likely to require hip replacements than men. The number of people living with hip replacements has risen to 2.3% of those over the age of 50 and nearly 6% of people living beyond the age of 80 will require a hip replacement at some point. Studies are showing a dramatic increase in the number of younger patients requiring hip replacements, however.

From 2000-2009, there was a 54% increase in the number of hip replacement procedures conducted for patients over the age of 65 and a 123% increase in the number of procedures conducted for patients between the ages of 45 and 64. These increases may be the result of the use of hip replacements to treat a wider spectrum of conditions and injuries as well as the creation of more durable hip replacements that are designed to last for longer periods.

Need for Ongoing Care After Hip Replacements

Patients undergoing hip replacement surgery often suffer from multiple complex conditions which threaten mobility or cause severe joint pain. Studies have shown that medical professionals are still not fully aware of just how much long term care may be required and that many patients receiving hip replacements will ultimately require additional surgery in the future either to repair or replace the hip replacement. This data highlights the need for increased accountability in order to protect the patients who elect to undergo these procedures.

Due to the risks and complications associated with hip replacements, the choice to perform a hip replacement surgery should remain a last resort and patients must receive proper follow up care in order to be certain that complications do not become severe or life threatening. This ongoing care can quickly become a drain on patients’ finances if additional surgical procedures are required.

If you have received a defective hip replacement, contact us today to learn more about your rights and whether you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering. We would be happy to review your case during a free consultation and if we are unable to help you or collect compensation on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.

Stryker Rejuvenate Failures: It’s Not “If”, It’s “When”

When is the Stryker Hip going to failStryker’s Rejuvenate hip replacement system— like the other defective hip replacement products on the market— was marketed as an innovated and advanced product but studies are showing that older products are much more durable than metal on metal devices.

The Stryker product was actually several steps backward rather than the leap forward in technology that the company claimed it to be and patients receiving the Rejuvenate hip replacement system are four times as likely to require revision surgery as patients who received older models. The main problem is that the metallic parts that touch each other can grind and cause metal fragments to enter the joint or the blood stream.

Lack of Long-Term Testing Linked to Stryker Rejuvenate Failure Rate

Studies have proven that many of the medical device failures during recent years have been the result of poor oversight and inadequate product testing. Hip replacement manufacturers have been able to push their products to market quickly using regulatory loopholes that allow them to market a product with minimal testing or research so long as it is similar to a product that has been approved in the past. The result is a drastic increase in the number of medical devices the FDA has needed to pull off of the market due to health concerns.

Not “If” but “When” Your Hip Will Likely Give Way

The data that has been received regarding metal on metal implants is very bleak and the onslaught of lawsuits brought against the device manufacturers suggests to us that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Due to the fact that Rejuvenate hip replacements are four times as likely to fail and are less durable than plastic or ceramic counterparts tells us patients who have received these devices are facing inevitability rather than possibility. The only question is how long the device will last before complications arise and whether those complications will be severe enough to warrant a revision surgery.

The metal contained in the defective devices is also highly toxic and patients must undergo regular blood testing to detect metalosis— which occurs when toxic levels of metals are present. Inflammation and scar tissue can also result from slivers of metal that are formed when the metal parts grind against one another.

If you received a hip replacement product recently and think it may be defective, contact us today for a free consultation with a Stryker Rejuvenate defect lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other financial hardship that has resulted from your defective device. During your consultation, we will be happy to answer your questions about the current mass torts against the hip replacement manufacturers and let you know more about how those cases will affect any potential settlement or judgment on your behalf. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you will never be required to remit payment upfront and we will only be compensated once we have been able to secure compensation on your behalf.

Finding the Right Doctor for Your Hip Revision Surgery

The Right Doctor for youRevision surgeries for patients who received Stryker Rejuvenate hip implants are much more complex and difficult than people believe them to be. For this reason, many surgeons and doctors are cautious about recommending or performing the procedures due to the significant risks associated with them.

Each patient’s age, existing medical conditions and the complications that they are experiencing due to the defective device are all considered, but doctors typically consider revision surgery to be a last resort measure— only to be performed if the patient is suffering severe complications or at an elevated risk of life threatening conditions.

The Dangers of Hip Revision Surgery

While the metallic ions within the Stryker Rejuvenate pose a concern to patients, the prospect of removing the device often comes at a far heavier price. The stem of the device is very long and is coated with a material that is designed to encourage bone ingrowth— making it difficult to remove without causing significant damage to the bone during extraction. While separating the device from the bone, it is possible to shatter the femur, rendering the patient immobile and in pain for a long time following the procedure. In the event that such an incident occurs, the patient will need to undergo an additional surgery once the femur has been reconstructed and can be replaced along with a new hip replacement device.

The length of the five hour long procedure poses additional risks— including but not limited to excessive blood loss, increased chance of infection, nerve damage and irreparable damage to the joint. The recovery period following hip replacement revision surgery can exceed six weeks and the patient’s immobility can result in bed sores, additional infections and other complications.

Finding the Right Surgeon To Remove & Replace Your Stryker Hip

Due to the difficulty of the procedure and the unwillingness of many surgeons to perform it, it can be hard to find a qualified surgeon for your hip replacement revision surgery. If you are finding yourself in this situation, we can help you. We have access to qualified surgeons who have experience helping patients like you through these complex procedures and our access to these professionals will also allow us to fight on your behalf to recover the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

If you have been injured due to complications caused by a defective hip replacement device, contact the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We will do everything in our power not only to represent your legal interests but to help you regain the quality of life you had prior to receiving your defective device. This includes connecting you with the resources and doctors that you need to begin your path to recovery as well as taking on the manufacturer of your defective device. You are our priority and because we are confident in our ability to help, we won’t require payment from you unless we recover damages on your behalf.

Broadspire’s Role With Stryker Rejuvenate Cases

Broadspire and how it worksMany of the patients who have received a defective hip implant from Stryker or DuPuy have questions about Broadspire and its relationship with the two device manufacturers. The companies have hired Broadspire as a third party to help administrate claims related to the DePuy ASR and Stryker Rejuvenate product lines. Understanding what Broadspire covers and how claims may impact your case is important when communicating or negotiation with the company. Whenever you are in doubt, it is always best to seek the guidance and advice of a qualified personal injury lawyer who has experience in related litigation.

What Broadspire Covers

Broadspire acts like a claims adjuster, acting on behalf of its clients— so it is important to understand that it represents the interests of Stryker and DePuy and may not be as concerned about your needs as it is about limiting the financial liability of its clients. The main purpose of Broadspire is to provide compensation for out of pocket expenses related to the defective hip replacement products produced by Stryker and Depuy. Those expenses include the following.

  • The cost of doctor’s visits, the cost of traveling to see a doctor and the cost of lodging during doctor’s visits or tests.
  • The cost of tests such as cobalt and chromium toxicity tests, MRIs and x-rays.
  • “Reasonable” rehabilitation therapy. How Broadspire defines reasonable may not always align with the needs of the patient.
  • Lost earnings due to revision procedures and doctor’s visits.

What Broadspire Does Not Cover

  • Compensation for pain and suffering.
  • Any expenses covered by your insurance company.
  • Future medical expenses— Broadspire will only cover past expenses.
  • The loss or potential loss of future income.

It is important to understand that Broadspire will not cover any expenses that may occur in the future because the majority of those who have received defective implants will require revision surgeries, testing and other procedures in the future. Broadspire will not provide compensation for pain and suffering either, and if your insurance company has provided you with a claim, Broadspire will not reimburse you or your insurance company for those expenses.

Revision Surgeries

If you have already undergone a revision surgery, you may receive compensation for the out of pocket expenses you incurred. Many patients are surprised, however, to find that Broadspire will not cover future surgeries— even if it is apparent that they will be required. The only way to recover the damages equal to the cost of anticipated procedures is to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

The Impact of Broadspire on your Case

It is important that you have an attorney review any offer you receive in order to protect your interests and rights. While Broadspire isn’t currently requiring claimants to drop their lawsuits, we are unsure of whether this policy will continue and for how long. Therefore, it is important to review the details of any offer you receive before agreeing to it.

Many patients are under the false impression that filing a claim with Broadspire negates their need to file a lawsuit. This is not true because the claims Broadspire is offering are not out of court settlements and do not cover many of the expenses that you may still be entitled to. Broadspire may provide the means to recover your out of pocket expenses more quickly but it is also important to consider the recovery of compensation that will cover your future expenses, loss of income and the pain and suffering that you have experienced.

How Broadspire Affects the Compensation you receive

If you file a claim with Broadspire, it is reasonable to expect that the compensation you receive be deducted from any judgment or settlement you receive as the result of your lawsuit. Once your case is heard or settled, your Broadspire claim will be considered when determining your final payment. Understanding the impact that accepting a Broadspire claim will have on the compensation you receive is important when considering the value of your case and the amount of compensation to pursue.

Communicating with Broadspire About Complications With Your Hip

It is important to take care whenever communicating with companies like Broadspire as they will always look for ways to reduce the financial responsibility of their clients. Any information you provide could ultimately be used against you in the future. For this reason, it is advised that you only communicate with Broadspire through an attorney or while an attorney is present to protect your rights and interests.

If you are the recipient of a defective hip replacement product and would like additional information or are unsure of how best to proceed in collecting compensation for your injuries, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to arrange a free consultation with a qualified hip replacement lawyer. We will be happy to go over every detail of your case and guide you through every step of the process so that you know what to expect from the process from beginning to completion. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you will never be required to provide compensation until we are able to collect on your behalf.

Now Getting Word About A Recalled Stryker Rejuvenate Hip?

We’ve received a rash of inquiries about the pending Stryker Rejuvenate litigation from people who have just received notification from their physician that they have a recalled hip device. Yes, more than 24 months after the devices were officially recalled by Stryker and FDA issued recall statements, some physicians’ offices are just now sending out letters to their patients that they indeed have a device that may have given them problems in the past or will likely do so in the future.

Such a long delay in notification is doubtfully due to poor records keeping on the part of the office. While there is no official registry of people who have received Stryker hip implants, most physician offices use electronic record keeping which would surely allow a doctor or his or her staff to access the contact information about their patients with relatively little effort.

Delay Intentional? An Oversight? Does It Matter?

Given this incredible long delay in the notification of patients, one can only assume that the delay was a decision intentionally made on the part of physicians who may regularly perform hip replacement procedures. Perhaps these doctors were fearful of endangering their relationship with Stryker (which produces an awfully large number of orthopedic devices)? Or perhaps there was a fear on the part of the physicians (or their practice groups) as getting named in the lawsuit stemming from the recall and ensuing complications?

Unfortunately, despite whatever motivations may have been behind a decision to delay in the notification of patients with Stryker Rejuvenate hips, what’s done is basically done. From a legal perspective, these physicians who were slow to notify patients (if indeed they did) have no legal obligation to do so. Any notification on the part of a physician to his or her patients is strictly voluntary.

Understandably, patients who are just receiving notification that they were officially impacted by the recall, may be frustrated or just let down by the medical professionals they have entrusted their well being to. For some, getting word that they were impacted by this recall is a slight bit of relief as this substantiates some of the complications that they were experiencing. For most patients who are now receiving notification about the Stryker Rejuvenate recall, there is a real sense of mistrust.

Legal Implications Of A Delay In Notification Of A Stryker Rejuvenate Recall

Whatever your immediate reaction may be in relation to receiving a letter, phone call or email more than two-years after one of the most significant medical recalls in modern history, you most recognize that any basis for a claim or lawsuit involving the hip remains against the manufacturer as opposed to the treating physician. Our position with respect to physician or orthopedist responsibity for complications associated to a Strkyer Rejuvenate is that there basically is none. All of our Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuits name the manufacturer exclusively as we believe that these products are inherently defective and even the most acclaimed physicians could do nothing to avoid these complications that their patients were experiencing.

Time To Take Action Is Now

For all of the finger pointing when it comes to the notification (or delay) of patients with recalled hips, it is important to remember that they are entitled to compensation for their past and future pain, medical expenses and lost wages— just as though they were notified at the time the devices were originally pulled from the market– like many of our other clients were told.

Depending on the jurisdiction, a request for dismissal of any forthcoming lawsuits could be asserted on statute of limitations defense. In other words, the case is barred by time constraints. At the time that this article was written, we are unaware of any requests for dismissal of cases based upon a stutue of limitations expiration. However, in anticipation that this defense will be asserted in this cases, it is crucial for people who have received Stryker Rejuvenate hips to contact an attorney now so a lawsuit may be filed immediately.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is accepting Stryker Rejuvenate cases across the country. Even if you are unsure of the specific model that you have or do not possess any of the medical records related to your implant or revision surgery, we encourage you to contact us now. We will do all of the investigation of your case without any cost or inconvenience on your end. Weather you received notification of your device last week, last month, last year or just suspect that you have a recalled hip, we want to speak with you.

Dated: September 16, 2014

Hip Replacement Surgery: An Increased Risk of Stroke Complications

Stroke as Complication of Hip SurgeryPatients undergoing total hip replacement surgery have a 400 percent increase potential of developing hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke within the first weeks after their operation. Information provided in the journal Stroke, by the American Heart Association, indicates that the risk of stroke was significant within the first two weeks, which dropped off only 6 to 12 weeks later. The study indicated that it took one year for the potential risk of a stroke to be comparable to individuals not undergoing hip implant surgery.

The information was accumulated in the Netherlands from approximately 66,000 patients who had undergone total hip replacement surgery. The study evaluated their potential risk of a stroke based on individuals not having the procedure. The data indicated an increased potential of an ischemic stroke within the first six weeks postoperative, and an increased risk of developing a hemorrhagic stroke up to 12 weeks.

This news was important because of the latest advancements in hip implant technology, and its increased popularity as an elective surgery. Hip replacement system manufacturers including Stryker, Zimmer, Smith & Nephew, Biomet and others are marketing their devices to younger, more active, individuals as a way to gain increased mobility and flexibility.

Unfortunately, hip replacement operations are performed on hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide every year. This indicates that approximately two percent of all hip replacement patients will suffer a life-threatening ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke within the first few weeks following their surgery.

Due to the increased potential of developing a stroke, many surgeons are prescribing blood thinning medication as a way to lower the risks. More studies need to be done to see if prescribing anticoagulant medication before the surgery is beneficial, without causing other significant risks to the patient including bleeding out during the procedure, caused by thinning blood.

Instant Death of Brain Tissue

An ischemic stroke often occurs due to an obstruction in the patient’s blood vessel that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain. A blocked artery can cause instant death of brain tissue when nutrients and oxygen are obstructed from entering the brain and cellular waste and carbon dioxide cannot be taken away. Even just a few minutes of a blocked brain artery event can cause brain cells to die. When a stroke occurs, immediate medical attention is crucial.

  • Cerebral Thrombosis Stroke – A cerebral infarction or thrombosis can occur in both the small and large vessels of the brain. It is often the result of damaged or diseased cerebral arteries blocked by blood clots forming within the brain.
  • Embolic Stroke – These emboli (clots) form outside the brain before traveling through the bloodstream and becoming lodged in a brain artery. They can cause nearly instant neurological and physical deficits.

What to Consider Before Hip Surgery

Anyone that is being advised to consider hip replacement surgery needs to carefully weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure. While the surgery might improve quality of life and reduce significant pain, the associated risks of developing a stroke are substantial. Based on studies, some doctors prescribe a daily regimen of aspirin before surgery, to minimize the potential of ischemic stroke. However, no studies indicate that aspirin has any effect on minimizing the potential risk of developing a hemorrhagic stroke in the first 12 weeks after surgery.

Hip Implant Recalls

In addition to the increased potential of a stroke, many hip implant systems have been recalled from the marketplace due to causing other medical problems. Hip replacement system manufacturers including Zimmer, Stryker, Depuy, Biomet, Smith & Nephew and others have recalled many of their implants due to serious complications arising from the surgery. While most implant devices were designed to last 15 to 20 years, many have failed after just a couple of years following implantation surgery.

Other issues involving hip implant systems include serious infections, extensive nerve damage (foot drop), material corrosion & fretting, femur fracture, metallosis (metal toxicity), dislocation, change in leg length, loosening and more. Most implant manufacturers sidestepped extensive testing procedures before bringing the hip implants to market. As a result, many patients have sued the manufacturer as a way to seek financial compensation for their damages, loss, pain and suffering.

Revision Surgery to Remove & Replace the Defective Hip

Even though the prosthetic hip joint was designed to last for more than a decade, the complications brought on by defective devices often require immediate revision surgery. The second hip replacement procedure increases the potential of developing a serious risk of stroke caused by a hemorrhage or blocked artery. Before making any decision to have the initial surgery, it is important to consider all options and have a discussion with your doctor on all the potential risks involved in your case.

How Much Is My Stryker Rejuvenate Case Worth?

Amount Stryker Hip Cases Could be WorthThe news that Stryker has settled some of the lawsuits filed against it by patients affected by its Rejuvenate Modular Hip Stem and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stem systems has many people pondering the value of the cases settled and how much their own cases are worth. Many of the details required to make that assessment remain shrouded in mystery due to the secrecy maintained by both Stryker and those who agreed to settlements about the terms agreed upon and the compensation provided. Even in the event of a mass settlement, what each individual can expect will depend solely upon his or her own circumstances and experiences while experiencing complications related to either of these products.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

There are two primary forms of damages considered in any personal injury lawsuit which make up what is referred to as compensatory damages. Economic damages are those which can be physically proven in the form of medical bills, lost wages or earning potential and the cost of ongoing treatment. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify because they involve pain and suffering, a reduced quality of life and damaged relationships with others due to the injuries and complications endured. It is far easier to tailor expectations on economic damages because of the greater ease in proving their worth.

Expectations Based on Similar Metal-On-Metal Hip Cases

Several manufacturers of similar products have reached settlement agreements that we can refer to when seeking compensation for your injuries. Some of the lawsuits involving DePuy products ended in multimillion dollar judgments for the plaintiffs before DePuy’s parent— Johnson and Johnson— agreed to a $4 billion settlement which provides a base compensation of roughly $250,000 to each plaintiff (look here for more information). Each claimant could receive more or less than this amount, depending on the unique circumstances involved in each case. Biomet agreed to a similar settlement which offers a base settlement of $200,000 for each individual (look here) affected by its defective hip replacement products.

These settlements do not guarantee the same results for those seeking damages due to complications resulting from a Stryker device, however. Some of the plaintiffs in a similar case heard in 2002 were only awarded $1,000 if they did not undergo revision surgery, for example. It is always best to seek the advice of an attorney who has experience with these types of cases and can assess the value of your case after gathering all of the relevant information.

Our Approach To Metal-Hip Cases

Our attorneys have assisted clients with various types of defective hip devices across the county. While many of these cases have been consolidated into judicial classes, we recognize the individual impact of these cases. Consequently, in addition to complying with court-ordered discovery, we regularly go beyond what is requested by the court to provide defendant-manufacturers with additional documentation and evidence (such as photos, videos and employment information) so that we may present your case in the most favorable way possible. In some instances, these extra efforts have resulted in our clients receiving compensation above what was prescribed by the court-ordered settlement.

If you have been injured or suffered severe complications after receiving a defective Stryker hip replacement, contact us today to arrange a free consultation with a lawyer. Our lawyers will be able to answer any questions that you may have about your rights, the legal process and what you can expect in the form of compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering. Our work is guaranteed and we will never require payment for our services or advice unless we are able to successfully recover money on your behalf.

Are Stryker Rejuvenate Lawsuits Close to Settlement?

Stryker Hip Cases May be Settled SoonPatients affected due to complications related to Stryker’s Rejuvenate Modular Hip Stem and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stem may now be able to receive out of court settlements. After numerous lawsuits were filed in 2012 following Stryker’s recall of the device, several bellwether cases would provide the framework for how additional cases would be handled. In 2013 it was announced that several other manufacturers of defective hip replacements had begun to settle out of court with those affected by their products and Stryker has followed suit by settling its first round of cases by August of 2014.

Court Ordered Mediation

In December of 2013, the New Jersey Superior Court in Bergen County ordered Stryker to undergo mediation with the plaintiffs involved in the MCL (multi-county litigation) it is presiding over. Of the twenty-one cases that have entered mediation, nineteen were settled, giving hope to future patients that Stryker may be willing to settle in order to avoid the drawn out process of taking the cases to trial. The information available about the terms agreed to by Stryker and the plaintiffs who settled is limited and the amount of compensation provided has not been disclosed.

Impact on Future Stryker Rejuvenate Cases

The news of Stryker’s out of court settlements to date is encouraging but it is not clear yet how these settlements will impact future cases or their value. The plaintiffs who agreed to settlements did not claim additional injuries, lost wages or pain and suffering, which makes it impossible to establish a precedent based on these settlements for cases that involved more severe complications and damages. Most of the other lawsuits being grouped together as a federal MDL (multi-district litigation) that is being heard by the US District Court of Minnesota. Multi-county and multi-district litigation allows similar cases to be heard in one court and for judgments and settlements to be determined for multiple cases simultaneously.

How to Approach a Settlement Offer

It is strongly advised that anyone who has a claim against Stryker first seek the representation of an experienced hip replacement lawyer before entertaining any settlement offers. Initial offers may not be in the best interest of the victim and a qualified attorney will be able to review and counter any offers that fail to provide you with the compensation you are entitled to. Stryker’s recent settlements are a sign that the company may be willing to settle out of court to avoid a drawn out legal battle that it will lose, but it will seek ways to reduce its financial loss in the process.

If you have been the recipient of a defective hip replacement and suffered injuries or complications that required additional medical care or resulted in undue pain and suffering, contact us today to speak with an attorney for free about your case. During our free consultations, we will take the time to review every detail of your case and answer any questions or concerns that you may have about the process of litigation and what you can expect from a trial or settlement. Our services are guaranteed, so we will never require payment unless we are able to collect damages on your behalf.

Foot Drop (Peroneal Nerve Damage) Caused by Hip Implants

Foot Drop as Complication of Hip SurgeryPeroneal nerve damage (foot drop) associated with hip replacement surgery is a serious disorder suffered by tens of thousands of individuals. The damage usually involves injury to the sciatic nerve arising from a complication occurring during or after hip implant surgery. Like any neurological injury, foot drop can be potentially devastating, requiring nonsurgical orthotics, physical therapy and/or decompression surgery, or other serious complex medical procedure.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, peroneal nerve damage often has minimal potential of recovery even with surgery. Doctors often treat the condition non-surgically using a custom-fitted foot splint (orthotic) allowing the individual to resume nearly normal daily activity. With proper physical therapy, some relief can be found.

Depending on the seriousness of the injury, revision surgery is often recommended immediately or within a few months after the initial hip replacement procedure. Surgical repair often involves nerve grafting, nerve suture, or possible decompression of the nerve at the damaged site. An additional option can include a nerve transfer, where nerve tissue is harvested from a less important lower leg muscle, and relocated at the damaged site to lift the foot.

However, in most cases there is only minimal potential for full recovery of an injury to the peroneal nerve after time has elapsed. Because of that, the patient suffering the disorder will need to consider every option instead of taking an approach based on wait and see.

Recall of Stryker Rejuvenate Hips

Hip replacement surgery is often a leading cause of foot drop. After only being on the market for less than three years, the Stryker ABG II modular and Rejuvenate modular neck hip replacement implants were recalled in June 2012. This was due to a variety of crucial problems caused by the hip implant including corrosion and/or fretting. The significant mechanical and material problems of the device led to a variety of adverse tissue reactions, nerve damage, infection, blood clots, swelling and pain.

To date, numerous other hip replacement manufacturers in addition to Stryker have recalled their implants due to similar issues involving pain, clots, infection and tissue/nerve reactions including foot drop. These manufacturers include Depuy, Zimmer, Smith & Nephew, Biomet and others.

Common Foot Drop Symptoms

Common symptoms of peroneal nerve damage involve a variety of indications that include:

  • Dragging the foot across the ground (toe dragging)
  • Buzzing, prickling (pins & needles) and/or a numb sensation down the leg to the toes
  • Muscle atrophy around the leg
  • Foot drop or steppage (high step) gate or walk
  • The inability to control toe slapping against the ground
  • Exaggerated hip swinging
  • Extensive weakness and pain in the leg, ankles and feet
  • Loss of foot function

Examinations and Testing for Stryker Patients with Peroneal Nerve Damage

A neurological physician might perform a variety of examinations and tests in an effort to isolate the disorder before prescribing optional treatments. An examination may indicate:

  • Foreleg muscles and foot atrophy
  • Significant inability to control muscles in the feet and lower legs
  • Difficulty when lifting the toes and foot, or pointing toes forward

Testing nerve activity often involves:

  • EMG (electromyography) to test muscle electrical activity
  • Nerve conduction test
  • Nerve ultrasound
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imagery)

Extensive testing and evaluation is often based on the suspected cause of the patient’s nerve dysfunction along with any other associated symptom and how it developed. Supplementary testing could include other scans, x-rays and blood tests.

Recommended Treatments and Options

Many patients suffering foot drop are prescribed a variety of treatments aimed at improving independence and mobility. Corticosteroids are often injected at the location of the pain in an effort to reduce swelling and minimize nerve pressure. Often times, surgery is the only option if the disorder does not react to any nonsurgical treatment, there are significant issues with movement or evidence of damage to the nerve axon is evident.

In some cases, surgery can relieve nerve pressure and reduce symptoms. However, this is often only when the disorder is caused directly by pressure on the affected nerve. It is often advised to limit the use of over-the-counter medications when reducing pain to minimize the potential of side effects.

In many situations, the prognosis (outlook) is challenging to predict. In severe cases, the disability caused by the Stryker hip implant may be permanent. While the disorder will likely not shorten the patient’s expected lifespan, it can decrease their ability to walk or run, and may produce permanent minimal sensation in the feet or legs. Other permanent disabilities could include paralysis or weakness in the lower extremity, along with the side effects caused by the drugs prescribed to minimize pain. Because of that, it is advisable to hire an experienced attorney to seek financial recompense from the implant manufacturer and other responsible parties.

Is the Removal of Your Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Necessary?

Removing your Stryker HipFor many individuals, hip replacement surgery has changed their life, increased their mobility, and minimized their pain. Doctors often recommend a hip replacement implant as a way to improve range of motion and increase activity levels. With hundreds of thousands of hip replacements performed every year in the U.S., and the increased activity of senior citizens, hip implants are thought to improve quality of life. Unfortunately, the Stryker hip replacement surgery is not without problems because it often develops medical conditions that require revision surgery.

This is because nearly one in every 10 implant surgeries fail due to numerous reasons including deterioration, inflammation, infection, becoming loose, and other factors. When the device fails, a second procedure is required. This revision surgery involves removing the old implant and replacing it with new components. But is it really necessary to have revision surgery?

Hip revision surgery is significantly more complex than the initial procedure. The surgery requires specialized tools and implants, and extensive pre-operation planning. Many surgeons avoid performing the procedure because of the mastery involved in dealing with complex surgical techniques to achieve optimal results.

Unfortunately, because the implant is being removed, significant problems arise. The hip replacement device was installed as a permanent solution to minimize the potential of becoming loose or moving inappropriately. Often times, while the surgeon is removing the femoral stem from the patient’s leg, the femur bone will break. In fact, some surgeries require breaking the bone as the only method for removing the implant.

Alternative Options For Patients Who May Require A Surgical Revision

Some doctors recommend alternative options to hip revision surgery, including:

  • Resection Arthroplasty – This procedure removes the entire hip joint. However, it is used to relieve pain, but obviously decreases hip function.
  • Pain Relief Medications – During the initial stages of corrosion, fretting or other wear and tear, inflammation can occur and cause extensive pain. Doctors may treat the pain with medication. Unfortunately, pain medications often have significant side effects including gastrointestinal ulcers, stomach upset, constipation and drowsiness. Because pain medications only treat the symptom, there is a likely chance of causing greater harm by not treating the underlying problem.
  • Assistive Devices – The doctor might recommend using assistive devices including a walker, crutches or cane as a way to postpone revision surgery. In addition, wearing a brace might increase implant stability and minimize the potential of dislocation.
  • Antibiotics – The doctor may prescribe suppressive antibiotics in an effort to control any symptoms of infection associated with the hip replacement implant. However, a medicine approach often produces variable success rates, and the doctor will likely not expect the drugs to eradicate the infection completely.

Simply avoiding the procedure altogether is not advised. This is because a high level of infection can result from increased inflammation, or other underlying condition. In fact, many patients that suffer significant problems from their hip implant are exposed to metal toxicity (metallosis). The toxicity occurs as the implant disintegrates, or through extensive wear and tear in its ball and cup.

The Need for Surgical Intervention

Generally, surgical intervention is the only solution to stop any further damage to the body. Unfortunately, hip revision surgeries are challenging and complex. Before being considered for the procedure, doctors will assess the quality of the existing bone, and any challenges involved in removing the failed components. Often times, reconstruction is required of all remaining bone, along with soft tissue structures, to ensure that the new components successfully fit into the patient’s existing femur bone.

The surgeons will address every portion involved in the surgery including the stem and ball (femoral) components along with the socket (acetabular). Each deficiency will need to be addressed including if the existing implant is loose or the bone is fractured. Once each component is assessed, the doctors can develop a removal plan to ensure all adequate tools and a replacement unit is available for surgery.

Once each failed component is removed, the patient’s remaining bones will need to be prepared through complex reconstruction. This is because the new implant is larger and longer, and bone grafting might be involved along with metal cages and/or cement.

Rehabilitation Following A Hip Revision Procedure

Once the patient has undergone Stryker hip revision surgery, rehabilitation is extensive. The convalescent time can take up to 12 weeks. Initially, the patient will be required to bear weight within days, while using assistive devices including crutches or a walker. Convalescence and rehabilitation can be performed as an outpatient therapy, or in the home in some cases. In many of these circumstances, a Stryker hip lawsuit can help with the recovery of these expenses.

Deciding to have revision surgery should be based on various factors including the health of the patient, obvious symptoms and signs of implant failure, and any swelling, pain, stiffness, limping and instability caused by the failed Stryker prosthesis.

Death During or Following Hip Revision Surgery

When people die on the Operating TablePatients Dying During A Hip Revision Procedure

Every year, thousands of individuals suffering from limited mobility undergo hip replacement surgery to improve the quality of their life and eliminate pain in their hip. Unfortunately, not every hip replacement surgery is successful. Often times, significant issues arise where there is an immediate need for revision surgery. The existing device is replaced with a secondary implant after a lengthy and complex procedure. Unfortunately, some patients die during the hip revision surgery as a result of complications, or in the months or years that follow.

Usually, patients elect to have hip replacement surgery as a way to decrease their pain and increase mobility. The diseased or damaged bone and associated tissue is replaced with an artificial implant. The need for hip replacements has never been greater, as more Americans live longer than ever before with highly active lives. The recipient of the hip replacement device is often an individual who has endured sports injuries, or significant trauma to their hip joint.

Over the last few years, hip replacement system manufacturers, including Stryker, have entered the medical marketplace with their own devices using proprietary materials and the unique design. Devices including the ABG II and Rejuvenate were marketed as effective solutions for active individuals in need of a new hip joint.

As the products were brought to market at the end of 2009, Stryker introduced the Rejuvenate hip implant system for individuals needing increase flexibility. The design of the implant allowed the device to be custom-fitted to meet the needs of each individual patient.

Using patented materials and a new design, Stryker manufactured the ABG II and Rejuvenate modular hip implants using ceramic bearing surfaces. The company made claims that the implant posed no potential risk of causing harm associated with common metal on metal surfaces used by their competitors.

Unfortunately, all claims of no associated risks with both devices were untrue. In fact, many patients with the implant are suffering with the same risks as other competitors’ faulty devices. As a result, the company voluntarily recalled both products from the marketplace in July 2012. Patients have experienced numerous medical conditions from the implants, which are outlined in the many formal complaints about the devices, including:

  • Bone fractures
  • High toxicity from metal poisoning
  • Significant soft tissue inflammation
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Collecting fluid and pseudo-tumors around the implant
  • Extreme swelling and pain associated with the device

The Need for Revision Surgery Even In Patients With Poor Health

Because of the thousands of cases involving significant problems with the Stryker hip replacement systems, many doctors are recommending revision surgery. In a follow-up re-operation, the surgeon removes and replaces the defective device. Unfortunately, the follow-up surgery is significantly more traumatic than the initial procedure, and many patients experience a broken femur bone when the surgeon removes the femoral stem from the leg.

Increased Death Rates During and Following a Hip Replacement Procedure

Typically, hip revision surgeries tend to produce less favorable outcomes when compared to the initial implant operation. Many times, the second surgery requires an extensive amount of hospital stay and recovery time as a result of the lengthy, complex procedure. Most patients require an assistive device including a walker or cane temporarily or permanently after the second surgery.

In addition, individuals that have suffered serious problems from the initial surgery, often experience increased death rates from uncontrollable infection at the replacement site. The devices made by Stryker, and other orthopedic hip replacement system manufacturers, are also known to fail due to corrosion and fretting of the material, especially devices fabricated out of chromium and cobalt metals. The corrosion usually releases metal debris into the bloodstream and surrounding tissue, often compromising the health of the patient.

Taking Legal Steps When A Loved One is Lost Following a Hip Revision

Nearly every patient that has been negatively affected by their Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II hip replacement device likely feels overwhelmed with what to do next. In all likelihood, the doctor informed you of the recall of your implant, and discussed symptoms and signs of pain, swelling, infection, metal toxicity and other conditions.

The next step is to seek out legal advice on how to proceed with the Stryker hip replacement injury case. Today, thousands of individuals have already filed lawsuits against Stryker and other hip implant manufacturers, as a way to seek legal remedy and financial compensation to cover the extensive costs involved in restoring their health.

If a loved one has died as a result of complications involving hip revision surgery, it is essential to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney that specializes in hip implant recalls. Filing a wrongful death claim against the responsible party holds the company accountable for your losses, pain and suffering, as a surviving family member. Learn more about your legal rights without cost or obligation by completing the contact form here.

Stryker Hip Revision Surgery: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Related Issues

DVT and hip surgeryPostoperative deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be a significant problem after a Stryker hip revision surgery, leading to lethal complications. Many times, DVT is challenging to diagnose because classic clinical symptoms and signs are not always present. If the doctor is not suspicious or curious of obvious lacking signs, the individual can develop significantly serious problems, which could lead to death.

In 2009, the Stryker orthopedic medical device company began marketing its Rejuvenate and ABG II modular hip replacement systems. Originally, the hip implants were thought to be far superior to traditional metal-on-metal hip replacement devices. Unfortunately, by July 2012, Stryker voluntarily recalled their hip replacement systems due to significant issues including injury and death related to DVT and other medical problems.

As a result of the failed system, thousands of individuals underwent Stryker hip revision surgery, where the original implant was removed and replaced with new components. Unfortunately, revision surgery is significantly more complicated than the original procedure, taking up to six months to fully recover. Due to the extensive recovery time and challenging rehabilitation, many patients develop a variety of complications including deep vein thrombosis.

Complications from A Hip Revision Surgery

Once the revision surgery is complete, doctors often prescribe therapies and medicines in an effort to prevent blood clots from forming. The medication is often prescribed as a way to minimize the potential of developing DVT that can occur during and after surgery. Patients are often advised to wear special compression embolism stockings and perform ankle pumps in the first three days after the revision procedure. In addition, physiotherapists, doctors and nurses will likely insist that the patient begin using the legs as quickly as possible once the operation is complete.

Additionally, doctors will prescribe PCA (patient-controlled analgesia) allowing the patient to control the amount of supplied pain medication through an IV during the first few days after surgery. These medications include dabigateran and rivaroxaban. However, it is often after the patient is release from doctors’ care that significant deep vein thrombosis can occur, due to inconsistent monitoring to detect symptoms. Common symptoms of DVT include:

  • Swelling or pain at the revision surgery site
  • Increased redness
  • Incision drainage
  • Pimples or bumps

If a blood clot migrates from the legs to the lungs or brain, it can cause instant death. Usually, DVT problems occur within the first few weeks after the operation. Any patient experiencing issues including swelling and pain in the associated hip or leg should seek medical care immediately. Doctors often prescribe anticoagulant medications as a way to reduce the potential of clotting. However, the medication often increases the risks of bleeding at the incision site.

Many medical experts note that hip revision surgeries tend to have increased risks with associated complications along with a reduced chance of success when compared to the original procedure. In addition, deep vein thrombosis can also occur in individuals that choose to avoid Stryker hip revision surgery. Often times, these individuals experience increased swelling and pain, which can leave the patient to a prolonged hospital stay until the medical condition has been controlled adequately.

Extensive Physiotherapy Exercises

One of the main factors leading to deep vein thrombosis as a direct result of Stryker hip revision surgery is a lack of performing physiotherapy exercises. Physiotherapists usually recommend performing these exercises once every day at a minimum. The exercises are designed to assist in recovery by restoring lost strength and movement in the hip. Without proper exercising, the diminished physical activity can cause significant problems including DVT.

Seeking Legal Assistance In The Event of DVT or Other Medical Complications

In an instant, any blood clot forming in the calf muscles can easily travel throughout the body in settle in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or in the brain (cerebral embolism). Patients suffering from DVT complications or other medical issues caused by a hip replacement device should seek legal assistance to file a claim. The costs involved in undergoing revision surgery can be extensive and require adequate compensation to pay off mounting medical bills, recoup lost wages, and provide recompense for pain and suffering.

Stryker, and other orthopedic hip replacement device manufacturers, can be held legally liable for complications associated with their implants. Many patients requiring revision surgery are exposed to significant risks, especially after the second and third procedures. In fact, recurrence of any previous complication is always an issue, such as metallosis (metal toxicity), femur bone fracture, myositis ossification (improper bone growth) and thrombophlebitis (DVT).

Determining the next step should only be taken using legal advice. Thousands of individuals across the United States have already filed lawsuits against Stryker, Biomet, Zimmer Durom, DePuy and others to receive the financial compensation they deserve.