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Metal hip manufacturer faces new lawsuits alleging defective design

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, ... Read More

UK’s National Health Service bans metal-on-metal hip implants

The United Kingdom National Health Service is banning surgeons from using metal-on-metal hip replacement systems in patients, based on guidance issued from consumer health watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The consumer health advocacy group developed the guidelines after investigations and research into the all-metal implants, which were found to have a startling high premature failure rate. Traditional hip implants are made with plastic or ceramic parts and generally last about 25 years before needing to be replaced. In the past decade, medical device manufacturers introduced all-metal artificial hips, assuming the devices would hold up better ... Read More

Stryker to pay up to $1.1 billion to resolve metal hip lawsuits

Medical device maker Stryker Corp. says it expects to pay up to $1.1 billion to settle personal injury lawsuits stemming from a 2012 recall of two of the company’s metal hip implants. The amount is more than twice what the company previously estimated it would have to pay to resolve the lawsuits. In July 2012, Stryker recalled its Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems because of concerns that the devices could fret or corrode inside the body, which could damage surrounding tissue and cause pain and inflammation. Last July the company in a securities filing said it estimated the costs ... Read More

European Parliament considers stronger medical device oversight to better ensure patient safety

Europen Parliament is considering adopting a proposal that would give European drug and medical device regulators more control over medical devices, and require high-risk devices to undergo an approval process before they reach the market. In both Europe and the United States, most medical devices are cleared swiftly for marketing if they can prove they are similar to products already on the market. This has raised safety concerns in the past in both countries, especially after high-profile recalls and safety advisories including the worldwide recall of Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedic ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system. The devices were granted ... Read More

Researchers: More studies needed to determine long-term cancer risk with all-metal hip implants

Researchers are recommending long-term studies be done on patients with metal-on-metal hip replacement systems to determine whether corroding implants cause cancer. The recommendation was made following a study in which researchers found no increase in cancer in a seven-year period in people with all-metal hip implants. Traditional hip implants are made with plastic or ceramic parts, but in the past decade many manufacturers of these medical devices began making the devices with all metal parts. The metal hips were thought to be more durable and thus ideal for younger and more active patients. However, they devices were found to fail prematurely ... Read More

Corroding metal on artificial hip caused patient neurological symptoms

When orthopedic surgeon Stephen Tower realized in 2006 that in order to continue his recreational cycling he needed hip replacement surgery, he picked the newest and seemingly most durable hip implant on the market at the time – a metal-on-metal device made by DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The hip implant was specifically marketed to younger, active patients like Stephen. However, after a year Stephen was having pain in his hip and balance issues that caused him to crash his bike. Within the next year, he began experiencing more problems – ringing in his ears, sleep apnea, ... Read More

Johnson & Johnson recalls 32 million packs of birth control pills

Johnson & Johnson has issued another massive recall, this time on 32 million packages of birth control pills because of a flaw that could cause unplanned pregnancies. The oral contraceptives are sold in 43 countries around the world, but not in the United States. This recall is one of about 40 the consumer health product giant has issued on everything from over-the-counter medications to artificial hips since 2009. The recall was initiated because quality tests performed on the drugs showed one of the two hormones in the pills was releasing slower than it should. The company said the risk of ... Read More

Woman sues metal hip implant maker for pain and suffering

Diana Jaras has a difficult time understanding what went wrong with her hip replacement. She was having problems with her hip and had to have her metal-on-metal Stryker implant replaced. She underwent revision surgery three months ago, and now walks with a cane. Diana is one of 20,000 Americans who received a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG2 Modular Hip Replacement. The devices have a titanium stem attached to a cobalt neck. The metal construction is designed to make the device more durable than traditional ceramic or plastic implants. However, it was flawed. As the metal parts of the implant rubbed together, ... Read More

Montana man awarded $8.3 million in first of 10,000+ DePuy metal hip implant lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics designed a flawed metal-on-metal hip replacement system and owes a retired prison guard from Montana $8.3 million in compensatory damages, a California jury decided in the first of more than 10,000 lawsuits regarding the devices to stand trial. Loren “Bill” Kransky sued DePuy arguing that the company failed to adequately test the device before marketing it in the United States. His lawsuit also claims the company covered up surgeon complaints of failures and considered redesigning the ASR model before ultimately deciding to stop making it in 2008. Johnson & Johnson recalled 93,000 DePuy ASR ... Read More

Failure of metal-on-metal hip implants causing pain for patients

Scott Ebert, 48, was so happy to experience relief from pain after receiving a new artificial hip made by Stryker that he named his new puppy after the medical device company. But two months later, Ebert was singing a different tune. Ebert’s artificial joint began slipping, causing his leg to give out unexpectedly. Sharp pains stabbed at his foot, and a sizeable bruise covered his calf. His hip burned with pain, his ears rang. Ebert rattled off an odd list of symptoms that only baffled his doctor, until he drew Ebert’s blood. Ebert’s artificial hip, known as the Rejuvenate, was ... Read More