Stryker Hip Replacements, Metallosis and You

On July 6, 2012 Stryker, manufacturers of replacement parts to help keep people mobile, issued a recall for their Stryker Rejuvenate Modular hip replacements and ABG II modular-neck hip stems. This situation is unfortunately quite serious, as there are concerns that the recalled products, made from metal, have the potential to come in contact with each other in an abrasive fashion and cause what is essentially a metal toxicity known as metallosis. If you have received a Stryker hip replacement (or know someone that has) and you’re not sure if any of this affects you, read on for a better understanding of how the Stryker hip replacement recall and metallosis can possibly have a bearing on your life.

What is Metallosis?

When two components of an artificial part are made of metal, chromium and cobalt particles can be released into the bloodstream because of metal-on-metal rubbing. The presence of these solubilized metals in the blood is a form of poisoning, which left untreated can lead to tissue failure, organ damage, sight or hearing impairment and even cancer. The damage to healthy tissue can also lead to the dislocation of other implants.

Cobaltism is another risk associated with metallosis, because of the release of the cobalt metal in the blood and it can cause cardiac or neurological damage.

The condition is relatively rare, but with products like the Stryker hip replacement parts, which unfortunately put metal components directly into contact with each other, the threat is nonetheless present enough for Stryker to issue the recall. Medical science cautions that women seem to be more at-risk than men, and people who are both petite in stature and, conversely, obese, are particularly susceptible to metallosis after receiving hip replacement.

What are the Symptoms of Metallosis?

If you have a Stryker hip replacement, pay attention to your body with heightened sensitivity now. Symptoms of metallosis include: painful hip, sore hip or swelling around your replacement hip. Watch out for a tumor-shaped and sized swelling, which is actually just a collection of fluids, or a rash which indicates where tissue has died. If you experience difficulty walking as well, consider getting an appointment with your doctor.

What if I Suspect I Have Metallosis?

Don’t put up with the pain, swelling and difficulty walking. You should seek out your doctor or hip replacement surgeon. If you know where your paperwork from surgery is located, reference it for the parts that were used.

Above all else, be aware that there are people out there who want to help you if you have been affected by the Stryker hip replacement products.

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