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Stryker Rejuvenate Plaintiff Loses Part of Femur Bone

Heavy metal fretting and corrosion between the neck and stem components causing tissue death, bone wear, and metallosis were the impetus for the Stryker Rejuvenate hip recall of July 2012. Unfortunately for plaintiff Michael Kent and his family, this recall was implemented too late. A resident of Bucyrus, Ohio, Kent along with his wife and two minor children are suing Stryker Orthopaedics for designing and selling a defective hip replacement, known as the Rejuvenate Modular Hip System, which allegedly caused him to suffer excruciating complications and undergo a reimplantation procedure, ultimately causing him to lose a portion of his femur bone.

The family’s Stryker hip lawyer filed the Rejuvenate lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on June 4, 2013. Court documents reveal that Michael Kent’s past medical expenses have already exceeded $109,000 and will continue to accumulate, as he will probably need a new hip replacement at some point in his lifetime.

Timeline of Stryker Rejuvenate implant injuries

As detailed in the lawsuit, Kent received Stryker’s Rejuvenate hip replacement on December 27, 2010.

  • By June 30, 2010 he began to experience pain in his right leg
  • A physician examination on April 27, 2012 revealed muscle atrophy in Kent’s right thigh and buttocks
  • Blood tests performed on May 31, 2012 showed elevated levels of cobalt suggesting metal-on-metal wear from the Rejuvenate hip components
  • On June 11, 2012, Kent’s surgeon performs hip revision surgery, removes the device and discovers large amounts of scar tissue. Suspecting infection, he chooses not to implant another artificial hip
  • For seven weeks, the plaintiff is left without a right hip and is forced to endure serious discomfort and inability to work while he awaited reimplantation with a new hip device
  • On July 30, 2012, after infections have been ruled out, Kent is implanted with a new hip replacement
  • Kent alleges to experience significant pain to this day

Stryker Rejuvenate hip recall ordered due to metal contamination

Approved for sale in the United States in 2009, the Stryker Rejuvenate system was touted as an innovative modular system – comprised of a femoral neck and stem – allowing surgeons to custom fit each patient. The manufacturer marketed the Rejuvenate system as a “perfect fit” for younger patients due to this modular design, stating that the device avoided complications associated with metal-on-metal bearing surface implants that had been criticized for metal toxicity.

The Rejuvenate System utilized a patented plasma sprayed coating of commercially pure titanium for the stem and cobalt chromium for the neck. Stryker claims the clinical testing demonstrated the compatibility of these materials without concern for fretting and corrosion.

However, allegations in the lawsuit state that metal-on-metal fretting was exactly the same failure that Stryker had promised would not occur because of the Rejuvenate’s design and composition. This was the same exact complication that the medical community had been studying and documenting in hip replacement design since the 1980’s.

Stryker stated on its website, “we decided to voluntarily recall these modular-neck hip systems due to the potential for fretting and corrosion at the modular-neck junction which may result in ALTR (adverse local tissue reactions), as well as possible pain and/or swelling at or around the hip… Stryker suggests that patients who have received a Rejuvenate or ABG II modular-neck hip stem contact their surgeon to schedule a follow-up appointment even if they are not experiencing symptoms such as pain and/or swelling at or around their hip. “

Plaintiff demands compensation for severe injuries

Seven causes of action are leveled in the Stryker hip lawsuit, with an additional claim for punitive damages.

Michael Kent is requesting damages for past, present and future physical and mental pain and suffering; and compensation for hospital, rehabilitative and pharmaceutical expenses. He claims that due to the defective nature of his Stryker Rejuvenate hip he was prevented from enjoying normal daily activities and lost significant income while he was physically unable to perform farming activities while awaiting his hip reimplantation procedure.