Millions of people in the United States currently live with a hip replacement. Hip replacements and hip replacement surgeries have evolved rapidly over the past few decades.
Patients now spend less time in recovery and are typically able to do more post-surgery than they did in years past. However, for some subsets of hip replacement patients, the devices intended to make their lives better and extend their active years have done just the opposite.
One of the most recent examples involves metal-on-metal hip replacement devices, specifically Stryker’s LFIT v40 Femoral Heads. LFIT stands for Low Friction Ion Treatment, and the product was touted by Stryker as a step forward in hip replacement technology. Stryker claimed the device improved hip stability, minimized dislocation and improved range of motion for patients.
Problems Caused by LFIT
Taper lock failures in these devices have the potential to be extremely dangerous for patients. Taper lock failures occur in the part of the implant connecting the femoral head to the femoral neck, leading to disassociation from the head stem, fractured hip stem trunnion, and the presence of metallic debris caused by metal-on-metal contact of the hip implant components.
Symptoms Related to Metal-On-Metal Hip Implants
When the components of hip implants lead to the shedding of metal debris into the patient’s body, the debris can be released into the bloodstream and cause metal poisoning, also called metallosis. The Food and Drug Administration says that the following symptoms might be related to metal-on-metal hip implants:
- Hip and groin pain
- Swelling in the region
- Changes in ability to walk
- General hypersensitivity reaction, or skin rash
- Neurological changes, including auditory or visual changes
- Psychological changes, including depression or cognitive impairment
- Renal function impairment
- Thyroid dysfunction, including neck discomfort, fatigue, weight gain or coldness.
Stryker’s Recall of the Device
Stryker has recalled certain variations of their LFIT femoral head devices due to the occurrence of taper lock failures. If you have had a hip implant and are unsure whether the implant includes this particular component, the FDA urges patients to contact their orthopedic surgeon to find out the type of devices used in the procedure.
The attorneys at Pogust Braslow & Millrood can help you receive compensation for the damages you have suffered due to faulty hip implants. We hold manufacturers of faulty medical devices accountable for the harm their products have caused consumers. Contact us today to learn more.