Hip replacement devices are no stranger to problems. Thousands of patients in Kentucky and across the United States have received hip implants in recent years. Unfortunately, many of these hip implants have developed problems resulting in recalls and lawsuits against the device manufacturers for injuries.
Recall for Stryker's LFIT V40 Femoral Heads
The FDA has recalled over 40,000 of Stryker's LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads used in hip replacement devices following the initial alert issued by the Australian Department of Health. This recall warns patients of potential problems and serious injuries associated with the Stryker femoral head component manufactured from 2006 through March 2011.
Injuries caused by the defective Stryker hip component include:
- Broken bones
- Shortened leg length on implant side
- Joint instability
- Metal poisoning (metallosis)
Stryker, the largest manufacturer of hip replacement devices in the world, began notifying surgeons and hospitals throughout Kentucky and the United States of high numbers of taper lock failures on these implant devices in 2016.
The taper lock connects the femoral stem to the femoral head in the hip replacement device. When a taper lock fails, it can cause major issues including a total failure of the hip implant requiring surgical revisions to remove the broken device and implant a new device.
Problems With the Stryker Cobalt-Chromium Femoral Heads Used in Hip Replacement Devices
Hip replacement devices generally consist of a few main components: cup, cup liner, femoral head, and femoral stem. These components are joined together in the following way:
- The cup liner is placed in the cup and the cup is inserted into the socket in the pelvic bone.
- The tapered neck of the femoral stem is inserted into the femoral head (connected by the taper lock) and functions as a ball and socket joint.
- The stem section of the device is then inserted into the femur of the patient.
The use of smaller femoral stems and larger metal heads has proved disastrous for some patients.
The Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head uses metal instead of ceramic. Many companies, such as Stryker, marketed the advantages of using metal femoral heads rather than ceramic heads in the hip replacement device systems. They claimed that patients would experience better range of motion, increased stability in the hip joint and longer wear.
The problem with metal versus ceramic femoral heads is corrosion, or “trunnion.” The Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head has been shown to corrode between the femoral head and the stem. The corrosion can cause the connection between the head and the stem to become weak. When severe, this can produce fracture, total component failure, and metal poisoning (metallosis) in patients. These problems are not typically present with the use of the ceramic heads.
Metal Poisoning (Metallosis)
When the metal hip implant corrodes, patients may suffer from metal poisoning as the metal particles breakdown and enter the patient’s blood stream. This breakdown of the metal can result in total failure of the device, catastrophic tissue damage, and the need for corrective revision surgery to repair the problem.
Patients with this type of hip implant should consult with their physician and have their blood tested. Metallosis can cause serious health issues, including:
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Cancer pseduotumors
- Mental impairment
Most surgeons should have received a letter warning them of the potential for serious problems the Stryker V40 Femoral Head hip implant. However, there are potentially thousands of patients with hip implants that could be affected by this recall.
Strkyer Hip Replacement Recall Lawsuits
Our Louisville-based law firm filed their first defective hip implant case in 2002 and has successfully represented many patients injured by failed hip implants in Kentucky and across the United States. If you or a loved one may have been implanted with this device, contact Gray & White today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. We can help determine which device was implanted and whether you are eligible for compensation due to injuries caused by a defective hip implant.
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