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According to allegations raised in a product liability lawsuit filed by an Alabama man, fretting and corrosion of a Stryker hip replacement occurred due to problems with the design of the Accolade and LFit V40 components, which caused metal blood poisoning and the need for revision surgery.
The complaint (PDF) was filed last week by David Campbell in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, indicating that Howmedica Osteonics Corp., which does business as Stryker Orthopaedics, sold defective hip parts that were prone to corrode and fail.
Campbell indicates that a Stryker Accolade TMZF Hip Stem was implanted together with a Stryker LFit Anatomic V40 Femoral Head, during a right total hip replacement surgery in April 2010. A few years later, the artificial hip failed due to trunnionosis, fretting and corrosion where the cobalt and chromium femoral head rubbed against the Accolade hip stem.
The Styrker hip fretting and corrosion caused Campbell to suffer severe pain and discomfort, a loss of mobility, and soft tissue damage that resulted from metallosis, which is a form of blood poisoning caused by high levels of metal ions in the blood stream. Ultimately, Campbell required hip revision surgery in March 2015, to remove the components.
“Revision surgeries of the femoral hip stem are more invasive and technically complex than the original hip replacement surgery since the femoral stem has to removed, rather than simply replacing the bearing surfaces. Revision surgeries also usually take longer than the original hip replacement surgery, and the revision surgery has a higher rate of complications,” the lawsuit notes. “Additionally, if metal particles or metal debris from the Defective Devices are present, the revision surgery is more difficult.”
Campbell indicates that he will require years of continuous medical treatment, and that some of his injuries may be permanent and cause additional problems in the future, including additional revision surgeries.
Due to similar reports of problems, a Stryker LFit v40 hip recall was issued last summer by the manufacturer, impacting certain large-diameter femoral heads sold before 2011. At that time, Stryker acknowledged that a higher-then-expected number of individuals were experiencing problems with trunnion failure, metal wear, adverse tissue reactions and other complications.
The case joins a growing number of similar Stryker Accolade hip lawsuits filed in recent months over problems when the femoral head was combined with this Stryker hip stem.
It is expected that several thousand lawsuits may be filed in the coming months and years as the Stryker hip implants continue to fret and corrode. Some hip replacement lawyers are also reviewing cases for individuals who still have the Stryker components in their body, which may be releasing toxic levels of metal without any knowledge that their hip replacement is corroding.