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Stryker reverses course on hip systems, recommends patients get checked

By Arthur Elk

More than six months after recalling two popular modular hip systems, Stryker is telling any patients with the hips in their bodies to visit their doctor and get tested.

In June 2012, the company issued a voluntary recall of its Rejuvenate and ABG II modular hip systems. The company made the move after patients began experiencing pain and swelling around the hip caused by metal corrosion and tissue destruction.

At the time, the company said that only patients who were experiencing symptoms needed to be checked by their doctors.

After many years of practicing law as a personal injury attorney, I have seen too many cases where companies have issued such statements and patients who were not experiencing symptoms at the time have gone on to experience serious, often fatal, complications. So I couldn’t believe when Stryker gave such questionable advice.

Now, the company has wisely reversed course and is urging all patients who have these recalled devices in their body to undergo blood testing. If the blood work up reveals elevated metals and tissue reaction, the company says the doctor should consider removing the device and replacing it with a non-modular device.

According to the company’s website, Stryker has now hired a company called Broadspire to administrate the claims process for future incurred medical expenses. We are glad to see the company plans to compensate patients for replacement of faulty hips to prevent continued injury to patients. But why did it take the company so long to give patients the correct advice? How many patients had to suffer unnecessarily because Stryker didn’t recommend all patients be checked at the time of the recall?

If you have one of the recalled devices in your body, please visit your doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to discuss your specific situation and help you decide whether you should remove the device.

At Elk & Elk, we have nearly five decades of experience helping victims of medical device recalls. If you have suffered pain and suffering because of the Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II systems, please call us today at 1-800-ELK-OHIO or visit our website and find out how we can help you.