As the population in the United States ages, medical technology has brought forth tremendous progress to keep citizens mobile after suffering from injury, disease, or age-related joint deterioration. A recent study suggests that as of 2010, about 2.5 million Americans have received total hip replacement surgery. For many, it is a life-altering procedure that both relieves pain and restores mobility that once would have been lost for good. However, the consequences of a defective implant can be devastating.
How Hip Replacement Surgery Works
To understand how this procedure works, you must be able to picture the bones and joint involved. The hip joint is at the top of your femur, or thigh bone, the single longest and strongest bone in your body. The bottom of your femur forms part of your knee joint, and the top comes up to your pelvis, where it meets with your pelvic bone in a ball-and-socket joint.
The top of the femur has an angled projection with a spherical ball of bone that fits neatly into a cup-like socket (called the acetabulum) in the pelvic bone. This ball-and-socket is your hip joint, and is the target of hip replacement surgery. A surgeon will remove a portion of your femur that includes the ball portion and replace it with an artificial plastic or metal implant, attach a new artificial socket to your pelvic bone, and join the two together in a way that mimics the natural joint.
The Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head Failures
The brand and type of hip implant that you receive varies with your health and mobility needs. Multiple manufacturers make many types of hardware, and most seem to function well for patients. Unfortunately, there is growing concern over one particular brand of implant—the Stryker LFIT V40 femoral head.
The Stryker LFIT V40 femoral head is a part of the replacement ball joint, intended for use with several different implant systems, including the Stryker Accolade TMZF implant, Stryker Accolade 2, or Citation or Meridian hip stems. The LFIT V40 is made of a metal alloy that contains the metals cobalt and chromium. There is a risk of corrosion in the LFIT V40 at a point of metal-on-metal contact, which can have severe consequences to the health of the user. As the implant fails, it can release metal shavings into the surrounding tissue and bloodstream, causing a dangerous condition called metallosis. Some of the symptoms of metallosis include:
- Heart problems or heart failure
- Visual difficulties, including blindness
- Trouble hearing, that can lead to deafness
- Mental or cognitive impairment
- Depression, anxiety, or other psychological symptoms
- Infections, leading to bone death
If the implant causes death to the nearby bone tissue, it can threaten the integrity of the bone, leading to bone fractures, joint dislocation, or total implant failure.
The Stryker LFIT V40 femoral head implant has not, as of yet, been recalled in the United States. However, Stryker has a history of failed hip replacement products leading to recall. In 2012, both the ABG II modular and Rejuvenate modular-neck hip stems were urgently recalled by the manufacturer, citing concerns of metal corrosion and the release of metal shards or fragments into the body. The Accolade TMZF hip stem was recalled no less than three times—most recently in 2013, as well as 2011 and 2009—due to manufacturing flaws and packaging issues.
Has Your Hip Implant Failed?
If you’ve suffered from a Stryker hip implant failure, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your troubles.
Wayne Wright LLP has experience fighting faulty medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies that release dangerous drugs, and insurance companies who refuse to honor their obligations. We will stand up for your rights in a court of law so you can seek the fair and just compensation that you need to recover. It’s time to hold these companies accountable for the suffering that they’ve caused. We have offices located conveniently across Texas, including San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, and El Paso. Call us today for a free case evaluation at 800-237-3334.