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Stryker Corporation, a medical technologies firm based in Michigan, is one of the biggest name brands in the world for manufacturing implants used in joint replacement surgeries. Unfortunately for some, a slew of lawsuits have revealed that Stryker’s metal-on-metal hip replacement products may not be as safe as previously advertised.

As outlined in this most recent news update, Stryker’s current problems revolve around the femoral head design of their LFIT V40 device. The femoral head is the ball in the “ball-and-socket” portion of the hip itself and the corresponding part of the replacement device; it fits inside the pelvis bone’s socket and allows the hip joint to rotate.

In October 2016, Stryker issued a recall for certain models of the LFIT V40 Femoral Head used in hip replacement surgery after a surprising number of hip replacement surgeries failed. Known as a taper lock failure, it occurs when the part of the hip implant known as the femoral head comes loose from the stem part of the device.

Multiple other products were added to Stryker’s recall list in May 2018 due to additional safety concerns, and in that time more cases have been added to those already awaiting trial—making the total number of cases 300 that are slated to get under way in the United States District Court of Massachusetts in early 2020.

While hip replacement surgery is designed to reduce chronic pain and increase mobility in the joint, the V40 device has actually limited mobility and increased pain for some patients.

Complications that have resulted from the LFIT V40 include:

  • Loosening of the device
  • Hip dislocation or fracture
  • Discrepancy in leg length
  • Inflammation
  • Decrease in mobility
  • Extreme pain that requires a revision surgery to fix
  • Toxic metals eroding off the artificial hip into the bloodstream

Lawsuits due to metal hip replacement products are not new to Stryker. In 2011, thousands of lawsuits were filed against Stryker for complications that occurred due to a modular neck-stem attachment used in hip replacement.  Individuals with these faulty neck stems experienced similar side effects to those with the recalled femoral heads. It wasn’t until 2014 that Stryker finally settled the claim for over $1 billion.

Although surgeons today are turning away from using full metal hip implants, they were used for approximately one third of the 250,000 hip replacement procedures that are completed annually in the United States. This leaves hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans vulnerable to the physical, emotional, and financial complications that can arise from this type of surgery.

Our law firm of Childers, Schlueter & Smith is well-versed in drug and medical device litigation and might be able to help you or a family member who is suffering due to hip replacement surgery failure. If you have questions, please give us a call at 1-800-641-0098. All initial inquiries are free of charge and without obligation.

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