At least five new lawsuits were filed against Stryker Corp., and its subsidiary Howmedica Osteonics Corp., claiming that the companies’ hip implant was defective, causing injuries and poisoning blood.
The lawsuits involve the Accolade TMZF hip stem and LFIT anatomic V40 femoral head. Stryker already is facing more than 500 similar lawsuits over other artificial hip models, the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems.
According to the complaint, the titanium hip stem can corrode when it is used with the femoral heads, which are made from cobalt and chromium. When the metal corrodes inside the body, it can inflame tissue, causing pain and disability, as well as send metal ions into the bloodstream causing a type of blood poisoning known as metallosis.
“Defendant failed to manufacture the product in a manner that prevented fretting and corrosion and, in fact, manufactured the product such that it caused fretting and corrosion,” the complaint reads.
Traditional hip replacement systems are made with ceramic or plastic parts. In the past decade, manufacturers began making devices using metal parts. The design turned out to be defective, with higher and earlier failure rates, as well as reports of metallosis. Stryker isn’t the only artificial hip manufacturer facing litigation for injuries caused by metal-on-metal hip implants.
The latest lawsuits against Stryker claim the company failed to adequately warn the public about risks associated with its devices.