Stryker Recalls Modular Neck Hip Replacers

Stryker Orthopedics recently announced a recall for two of its hip replacement products, sold under the names Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II. Both Stryker’s Rejuvenate and ABG II models used so-called ‘modular neck’ technology, and the company says that the products are being recalled because of possible risks linked to the modular-neck stems.

Stryker announced its Rejuvenate and ABG II recalls in the midst of a growing amount of concern among researchers, doctors and patients about the safety of hip replacement technology. At the end of June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gathered experts and doctors for a panel focused on the safety and use of hip replacement technology.

The FDA panel mostly looked at the safety of so-called metal-on-metal hip joints, but the experts also looked at the numbers of safety concerns and complaints about other types of hip replacements as well. According to the FDA, they’ve had reports of nearly 40,000 ‘adverse reactions’ from hip joint replacements between 1992 and 2011. These ‘adverse reactions’ can include a whole range of health problems, injuries and other negative impacts that are the result of hip replacement products.

The modular-neck models affected by the Stryker recalls aren’t metal-on-metal joints, but they do have metal parts. This means that Stryker’s Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II joints may be vulnerable to kinds of wear and tear that also affect metal-on-metal joints, as a recent article from Orthopedics This Week explains. One of the biggest concerns is the risk of ‘fretting’ and corrosion problems with the modular neck, which can release very tiny metal particles from the artificial joint into the patient’s body. This can lead to pain, swelling and other problems in the hip area, according to Stryker.

The Stryker website has no estimates about the potential number of people these recalls will affect. It also has no figures about the numbers of Rejuvenate Modular or ABG II joints that they’ve sold.

According to the FDA page about the Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II recalls, patients who are concerned that they may have one of the recalled modular neck joints can contact Stryker over the phone or through their website. However, as the Stryker recall website points out, patients who’ve had hip replacement surgery have to check their own medical records to find out if they have one of the affected modular neck models.

Stryker says that it has no way of confirming whether a patient has a recalled hip replacement because of patient privacy rules. Only surgeons can confirm what kind of joint a patient has, if a patient doesn’t already know. It’s also a good idea to contact your surgeon, especially if you or a loved one has trouble understanding medical jargon or you can’t find the information in your own records.

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