Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Unlike hip implants using a metal-on-metal design, Stryker Corporation incorporated ceramic components into its Rejuvenate hip implant device. Despite the differences, however, Rejuvenate patients are nevertheless experiencing similar injuries.
Like the bones that comprise one’s hip, implants are designed around a ball and socket configuration. Some manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy division, Wright Technologies, and Smith and Nephew were forced to issue recalls of their products when fretting and corrosion caused tissue damage, metallosis (metal poisoning), and other unintended side effects. An estimated 500,000 patients received metal-on-metal hip implants, and because of the high rate of failure, many have sought damages in court.
Stryker’s Rejuvenate product was intended to be an alternative to the metal-on-metal devices, and the company promoted it as a modular, custom-fit hip replacement offering a better range of motion – a particularly strong selling point to younger patients. Although the ceramic components in the ball and socket don’t present the same dangers as metal-on-metal designs, the metal surfaces in the neck and stem can rub against one another, causing metallic debris to come loose and impact the surrounding area.
Approved for sale in the U.S. in 2008, the Rejuvenate device was implanted in an estimated 20,000 patients before Stryker issued a recall in July 2012 that also included its ABG II product, another modular stem design. Typically, hip implants are expected to last 15 to 20 years, but some Rejuvenate patients suffered failure after only five years.