Defective orthopedic implants can cause financial and emotional stress for a patient and his or her family. Undergoing any major surgery is a stressful situation. If there are additional complications stemming from a faulty device, it makes the process even more difficult for everyone involved. Our experienced defective medical device law firm will evaluate your claim to determine if you have a case.
The cause of defective orthopedic implants stems partially from the sterilization process used by the manufacturing companies. A technique called gamma irradiation is used to sterilize hip and knee prostheses. These devices are made of high molecular weight polyethylene. This is basically a form of pliable plastic. The sterilization process destroys the durability of the orthopedic implants due to oxidation.
Oxidation takes place when free radicals combine with oxygen in the polyethylene material. This process is generated by radiation. It can occur during the radiation process or it can happen over a period of time. This results in an adverse effect on the material and resistance of polyethylene.
Once the device is implanted in your body, the part that is comprised of polyethylene breaks up into small pieces. These pieces lodge themselves in your hip or knee. Then your body’s immune system begins fighting to rid itself of those broken pieces.
During this process, your immune system also attacks your healthy bone and causes it to decay. This condition is called osteolysis. The result is that you may require a second surgery to replace the defective device.
Manufacturers are moving away from the use of gamma sterilization due to its adverse effects. ETO (ethylene oxide) or gas plasma is now being used in the sterilization process. This reduces the amount of oxidation that takes place.
As a result of defective orthopedic implants, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has issued a warning letter about the complications with hip implants. The manufacturer cited in this warning letter is Stryker Corp., located in Cork, Ireland. Reports of defective products date back three years.
As a result of these findings, Stryker Corp. has recalled two hip implant products. Both of these are replacement cups. Reported incidents include the following symptoms:
- Severe and intense pain
- Problems walking
- Squeaking joints
- Broken joint implants
- Poor fitting implants (this has lead to broken bones in some cases)
If you or someone you love suffers from any of these symptoms, consult your physician immediately. To learn more about defective orthopedic implants, please contact our Atlanta defective product attorney today to schedule a free consultation.