Since Stryker recalled its Rejuvenate and ABG II hips in July of 2012, medical science has been quickly evolving to identify and diagnose metal-on-metal complications harming patients. Surgeons have been using metal artifact reduction sequence MRIs, also referred to as “MARS” MRIs, to identify suspected prosthetic hip complications
including metallosis, pseudotumors, inflammatory responses, and tissue and bone necrosis. (See prior blogs on these Stryker hip-related injuries.) Traditionally, metal from prosthetic implants produces a large area of signal and extensive distortion around the defective implant on an MRI. The MARS MRI, however, minimizes this metal “artifact” effect and allows undistorted visualization of bone marrow, soft tissues, fluids, tumors and even cement adjacent to implant hip screws.
Recent studies have also shown that ultrasound is a very useful tool for detecting pseudotumors in hip implant patients. Some current medical studies find that ultrasound may be superior to MRI for diagnosing pseudotumors in asymptomatic patients. In some instances where a MARS MRI generates equivocal results, surgeons may order additional follow-up ultrasonic evaluation to rule in or out metal-on-metal disease.
Medical science is becoming increasingly aware that metal particulates from metal-on-metal hips become systemic throughout the body. This means that metallic particulates become deposited in remote organs, including the liver, kidney, prostate gland, breasts and lymphatic system. Often when hip implant patients undergo biopsies, test results incidentally include positive findings for implant metals, especially cobalt and chromium. Therefore, patients implanted with a Stryker device should discuss with their physicians whether trace metals from the hip implant were found on biopsy. Such tissue samples may also be important evidence of the pervasive and harmful effects of metal toxicity. Patients should speak with a qualified hip implant attorney about these medical developments and how such treatment evidence will be used at the time of trial.
SUGARMAN has formed a team led by partners Stephen Sugarman and Benjamin Zimmermann to represent clients who have been injured as a result of defective Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implants. If you have any questions regarding a Stryker hip implant, please fill out a Contact Form, call Stephen or Ben at 617-542-1000 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.