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A hip replacement lawsuit filed against Howmedica Osteonics Corp. alleges that problems with a Stryker Accolade TMZF femoral stem implanted with a Stryker LFit v40 femoral head caused high levels of cobalt to leach into a man’s body, resulting in premature failure of the artificial hip.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Patton Witt in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska on January 12, indicating that the combination of a Stryker Accolade hip implant with the recalled Stryker LFit metal femoral head caused him to experience failure of his device after only five years, resulting in the need for revision surgery to have the hip components removed.
A Stryker LFit V40 hip recall was issued last year, impacting certain large-diameter femoral heads sold before 2011, after the manufacturer acknowledged that a higher-than-expected number of individuals were experiencing problems with trunnion failure, metal wear, adverse tissue reactions and other problems..
According to the lawsuit, Witt received the implant in March 2008, as part of a left total hip arthroplasty procedure to treat advanced right hip arthritis. Later, a diagnosis indicated that he suffered high cobalt serum levels, and an MRI found that he had developed a large soft tissue mass. Witt’s surgeon determined that the problems were being caused by corrosion where the Accolade TMZF and the LFit V40 head were rubbing together, and Witt required revision surgery in January 2015.
“[O]ne could clearly see extensive corrosion present at this site,” his orthopedic surgeon noted, according to the complaint. “There appeared to be some deterioration at the trunnion with loss of the passified layer.”
Witt presents claims for negligence, defective design, manufacturing defect, failure to warn, and his wife is included as a plaintiff with a loss of consortium claim. They are seeking both compensatory and punitive damages, which are designed to punish the manufacturer for recklessly disregarding the safety of consumers.
The case joins a growing number of hip replacement lawsuits filed in recent months over problems with the Stryker Accolade and L-Fit V40 combination, each raising similar allegations. In addition, as more individuals receive Stryker recall letters or learn they received a recalled L-Fit V40 femoral head, it is likely that hundreds, if not thousands of additional complaints will be filed in the coming weeks and years.