Cobalt Chromium Toxicity


Understanding the Symptoms of Metallosis


Metal-on-metal hip replacement systems can lead to serious health complications. These products, such as DePuy’s Pinnacle hip replacement system, can expose patients to chromium and cobalt metal toxicity. Metallosis is a type of metal poisoning that can occur when using metal-on-metal hip replacement systems. The symptoms and health complications caused by cobalt toxicity may include:

  1. Pseudotumors: a mass forming around the hip joint caused by a reaction to the metal-on-metal hip. It is also known as aseptic lymphocyte-dominant vasculitis-associated lesion, or ALVAL.
  2. Osteolysis: commonly known as bone loss. Over time, the metal particles released from the implant can cause damage to bone surrounding the joint. Surgeons are then faced with poor bone stock and/or poor bone quality during a revision total hip replacement.
  3. Tissue/muscle death: Muscle atrophy and even necrosis (death) are typically seen in patients with MoM hip implants. When atrophy affects the gluteus minimus and/or gluteus medius (certain muscles in the buttocks), the surgeon may have to perform an abductor repair during revision.
  4. Hip/groin pain: This symptom may be a sign your hip is failing. It is important to follow up with your primary care physician and/or orthopedist to undergo imaging (e.g. MARS MRI) that may shed more light on the source of your pain. It is recommended you also test for cobalt and chromium toxicity.
  5. Adverse local tissue reactions (ALTR): sometimes referred to as adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD) are general terms for when the metal particles cause destruction to the bone or tissue of the hip joint, leading to pain, loosening of the component, and device failure.

We have more information on our website that can explain what to do if your hip replacement system was recalled. Feel free to give us a call with any questions or concerns you have regarding your metal-on-metal hip implant.

Stryker Rejuvenate Status Update: October 2015

My name is Stuart Talley and I am the partner at Kershaw, Cook & Talley responsible for the Stryker Rejuvenate recall litigation. The reason I am doing this video today is to give an update on the status of the litigation. We had a status conference with the court yesterday and we wanted to provide an update on where we are with these cases.

As many of you may know, the Stryker Rejuvenate litigation originally involved about eight thousand cases that were filed on behalf of people who had Stryker Rejuvenate hips. Most of those cases were consolidated in Minneapolis, Minnesota before Judge Donovan Frank. After year and a half litigation, there was a global settlement that was announced.  It was actually a global settlement program. Any individual who had a revision surgery as of November 2014 had the option of participating in the settlement program.

The hearing yesterday discussed the current situation regarding where certain cases stand, how many have been settled, how many remain. We learned there are many cases still pending in the court that have not been resolved. Those cases fall under different categories:

  • The first category includes people who have not had revision surgery. Stryker has offered nothing to those individuals and is not agreeing to settle their cases.
  • The second kind of case involves people who had revision surgery but after the settlement was announced in November 2014. So, if you had revision surgery after November 2014 you were not included in the settlement program.
  • The third kind of case that is sitting out there is for people who opted out of the settlement program. They decided they didn’t like the terms of the settlement and decided not to take it.
  • The last category of cases, 175 remaining, those will be tried to a jury. There is a lot of work right not to get those cases ready for trial. There’s a lot of discovery that’s being conducted with respect to Stryker and retrieving documents from Stryker. There are many depositions lined up for November of this year of various Stryker executives. There’s a lot of work and effort going into getting those cases ready for trial.

With respect to the unrevised cases, people who haven’t had revision surgery, there is a process that will be set in place. Essentially, Stryker has agreed to allow these people to dismiss their case. In the future, if they ever need revision surgery, they can refile the cases as if it was never dismissed in the first place. This process is called a “tolling agreement”. Stryker agreed to “toll”, or suspend, the statute of limitations. For example, you dismiss your case and are allowed to refile if you ever have revision surgery. If you do, it’s as if your case was never dismissed in the first place.

These cases are ongoing. There’s a lot that’s happening. Many cases have settled. If you have a Stryker Rejuvenate hip, and have not filed a case, we recommend you file one immediately. The statute of limitations could be running on your case. And unless you actually have a case on file, you are not protected even if your hip has not been revised. This tolling agreement only applies to individuals who have cases on file.

If you have a Stryker Rejuvenate hip, contact us for a free case consultation. You can call us toll-free at (888) 817-2527, or fill out and submit the confidential submission form found on this page.

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