Stryker Rejuvenate Lawsuits Filed Over Hip Replacement Problems

Stryker Orthopaedics has been hit with product liability lawsuits filed by seven additional plaintiffs, who allege that problems with the recalled Stryker Rejuvenate hip stem caused their artificial hip replacement to fail prematurely. 

The complaints were filed in New Jersey Superior Court in Hackensack, claiming that each of the plaintiffs received a Stryker Rejuvenate hip replacement, involving a modular femoral neck stem designed to allow the surgeon to customize the length of the component. However, the lawsuits allege that design defects caused the hip replacements to loosen and move out of position, requiring the plaintiffs to undergo revision surgery.

The first Stryker Rejuvenate lawsuit brought in the country was filed early last month, involving nearly identical allegations to the recently filed complaints.

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Unlike most femoral components for artificial hips, which involve one piece, the Stryker Rejuvenate consists of a metal neck that fits inside of a metal stem to allow the implant to be customized for certain aspects of a patient’s anatomy and hip biomechanics.

In July 2012, a Stryker Rejuvenate recall was issued for the modular-neck hip stem components, due to a risk of fretting and corrosion at the modular neck junction. The design has been associated with problems where metal debris may be shed into the body as the metal parts rub against each other, potentially causing pain, swelling, local tissue reactions and early failure of the entire hip replacement.

The Stryker Rejuvenate Modular Hip System was just introduced in February 2009.  While such implants are expected to last 15 to 20 years, Stryker removed the Rejuvenate femoral neck stem from the market less than four years after it was introduced amid reports of problems with the modular hip replacement system.

The lawsuits accuse the company of negligent design and manufacturing of the Stryker Rejuvenate. Stryker itself confirmed that the modular neck stem suffered from loosening, corrosion and fretting, similar to problems seen with metal-on-metal hip replacement systems.

Upon removal of the recalled modular stems, plaintiffs in these latest lawsuits indicate that their surgeons found large, fluid-filled pseudotumors, tissue necrosis, muscle loss, and bone loss around the implants when they were removed, which are signs of the local tissue reactions caused by metal poisoning or metallosis.

Although the modular neck stem was only on the market for a few years, it is expected that the number of Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits filed throughout the country will increase in the coming months and years as individuals experience similar problems with the modular neck hip replacement stem.


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