The New Jersey Supreme Court recently approved a request from consumers to consolidate state court lawsuits related to Stryker’s LFIT Anatomic Cobalt Chromium V40 femoral heads into multicounty litigation (MCL).
The MCL has been assigned to Bergen County under Superior Court Judge Rachelle Harz, who is also overseeing litigation over the Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Stem and ABG II Modular Hip Stem components. Consolidation will facilitate case management and help avoid duplicative discovery efforts in approximately 85 cases that are currently pending.
2016 Stryker Hip Implant Recall
In August 2016, Stryker issued a voluntary recall of specific lots of the LFIT Anatomic Cobalt Chromium V40 manufactured before March 2011 due to a higher than expected volume of complaints concerning the failure of the femoral head to completely lock onto the stem at the stem-head taper junction – commonly known as taper lock failure.
The device has also been associated with sudden and catastrophic disassociation of the femoral head from the femoral stem. Excessive corrosion at the head-neck junction has led the femoral head to break off from the neck of the stem, become loose in the body, and separate from the acetabular cup, necessitating immediate revision surgery and complete replacement of the femoral stem and head. Corrosion at the junction has also led to the methodical release of metal particles into the surrounding bone and tissue, potentially putting patients at risk for a condition known as metallosis.
A patient with a recalled hip implant might detect a failed device through a blood test to check their cobalt and chromium levels. Elevated cobalt and/or chromium levels sometimes indicate the presence of a defective hip because of the release of metal ions at the junction between the LFIT V40 femoral head and the stem component. Those with elevated metal ion levels may need to undergo revision surgery to remove and replace the failed hip replacement system.