This is an excerpt from one of the recent episodes of 'Do I Need a Lawyer?' hosted by: Gary Martin Hays.
Thanks for joining us!
I'm Gary Martin Hays.
Now let's go to a question from a woman who had a hip replacement surgery a couple years ago.
Hi Gary. I had a replacement hip surgery about 3 years ago. Immediately after the surgery everything seemed to be ok so I thought the results were fine. Recently I have been having pain and swelling in my hip. There is also this weird, squeaky noise every once in a while. I have seen on the news where some hip implants were being recalled because people were having problems with them. Do you think I need a lawyer in case my hip replacement was one of the recalled hips?
- Donna in Marietta
Donna - thanks for the question. I'm sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing now from your hip implant. I would encourage anyone that is having complications from any surgery - whatever the reason for the surgery - to get in to see the doctor as soon as possible. This goes well beyond whether or not you have a legal claim for your injuries and complications. It is about your health - first and foremost. Get to a doctor so they can treat you and get better.
Now let's address the legal issues, here.
In the last few years, there have been hip implants recalled by various medical device companies.
The two biggest recalls garnering the most media attention were:
(1) DePuy Hip Recall. These hips were manufactured by the Johnson & Johnson Co.
The specific hips recalled were the DePuy ASR and some DePuy Pinnacle models.
On Nov. 19, 2013, Johnson & Johnson & its DePuy subsidiary announced that they will pay at least $2.5 Billion dollars to settle thousands of individual lawsuits.
(2) The other big hip recall involves the Stryker Corporation.
The hips being recalled are the Stryker Rejuvenate Modular and the ABG II Modular Neck Hip Stems.
The Stryker Recall was made in June 2012.
Why were these hips recalled?
Because metal ions were shearing off of the cup in which the ceramic ball of the hip was placed, causing these tiny metal fragments to lodge in the surrounding tissue or to be released into the bloodstream.
Some of the problems associated with the Stryker hip implants include:
· Repeated dislocations
· Pseudo tumors
· Heavy metal poisoning
· Revisionary surgery
These implants may also cause a potentially very serious health condition called Metallosis.
Here are just a few of the health issues people can experience from metallosis:
· Kidney problems and possible renal failure
· Neurological issues
· Cardiovascular problems
· Loss of vision or hearing
· Thyroid problems
· Gastrointestinal disorders
There are 5 things you need to know when it comes to the Stryker recall:
(1) The voluntary recall followed the discovery that the devices are prone to "fret and corrode"
(2) You may be entitled to compensation if you received one of these Stryker implants and you are experiencing pain, swelling and immobility
(3) You will need to know the name of the surgeon who performed your surgery
(4) You should also consult with your surgeon to find out if you need a revision surgery
(5) Joining a class action law suit against Stryker may not get you the full compensation
Well how do you know if you have hip that has been recalled?
In the US, medical device companies don't necessarily keep a record of all the people that have received their products.
On the other hand, many surgeons, who do keep records, should contact their patients that they know received a Stryker hip implant.
Even if you did not receive a notification, you may still have one of the recalled hip implants. If you are unsure of the type of hip prosthesis, please contact my staff so we can determine if you are involved with this particular recall.
If you believe you have a hip implant that has been recalled, what should you do next?
Here are 4 things you can do right now:
(1) Document everything!
Keep a record of your treatment and all of the problems you have experienced from the hip implant.
(2) Second opinion.
You may consider having a second opinion from a different surgeon about your pain.
(3) Gather your records and keep track of all of your expenses.
(4) Speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Only a lawyer can get you the full compensation you deserve for your injuries. Just because you had one of these hip recalls does not mean Stryker will be reaching out to you and giving you money.
Also realize this: DO NOT DELAY IN PURSUING THESE CLAIMS.
There is not an unlimited amount of time to present your claim. If you don't act quickly, it could be barred by law.
Now - if you have questions about a potential claim, please give us a call.