Stryker is finally acknowledging that their Rejuvenate and ABG II modular hip product line can cause serious problems in patients – even if they aren’t yet feeling symptoms of metal poisoning or tissue destruction.
Since the Rejuvenate product recall on July 4th, Stryker has been telling patients that if you aren’t feeling any symptoms, you should not return to your orthopedic specialist unless it’s part of your individual treatment plan.
Since June, we have been warning patients of heavy metal toxicity, tissue necrosis, and irreversible skeletal damage.
Now, (6) months after our warnings and (5) months after the Stryker recall, Stryker has a different message: “It is important that you follow-up with your surgeon, even if you are not experiencing symptoms such as pain and/or swelling at or around your hip” and even recommending that if you are unsure if you have the Rejuvenate or ABG II, to find out immediately.
Stryker’s about-face in this situation is predictable given the obvious problems with Rejuvenate and ABGII hip systems. It is inexcusable, however, for Stryker to tell patients that failure rates are so low that they need not be concerned, when “heavy metal toxicity, tissue necrosis, and irreversible skeletal damage” was medically predictable at the time of the recall.
Why did Stryker delay these recommendations for so long; when we at Searcy Denney have been asking Stryker since their voluntary recall this summer to acknowledge that their device is causing serious harm to patients? For now, we are left to guess, until we discover in the process of litigating lawsuits on behalf of victims.
According to Reuters, Stryker has now employed a company called Broadspire to administrate the claims process for future incurred medical expenses. Although it is not clear what expenses Stryker may cover, we hope they intend to compensate for at least replacement of faulty hips to prevent continued injury to patients.
But, as we have warned before, you should always speak with a lawyer before negotiating or dealing with a third-party claims administrator like Broadspire. Whether you hire a lawyer or not is a different issue, but at least speak with one.
Do not be misled. These companies often portray themselves as wanting to help patients and they really may want to help patients; but at the end of the day, they work for, their loyalty is to Stryker and not the patient. If they can secure a full release for their employer by paying pennies on the dollar of a victim’s actual losses, they will because that is their job.