Defective Sulzer Hip Implants

Alley, Clark & Greiwe represents individuals throughout the State of Florida who have suffered serious health problems as a result of a defective hip implant manufactured by Sulzer Orthopedics, Inc. On December 11, 2000, Sulzer Medica announced that its subsidiary, Sulzer Orthopedics, Inc. had voluntarily recalled certain manufacturing lots of its Inter-Op acetabular shells for hip implants which were sold primarily in the United States after October 1999, with a small number of lots sold after July 1997.

A small percentage of acetabular components have a lubricant residue on the surface of the shell that was not completely removed during the manufacturing process. The hip implant part is the acetabular "shell" that is implanted into the upper part of the hip called the acetabulum. Normally, the bone would form an integrated bond with the shell; however, it appears that bone does not always bond with shells when the lubricant residue is present.

Since mid-September 2000 Sulzer Orthopedics has received reports of post-operative loosening of a number of the Inter-Op acetabular shells. The actual affected lots include approximately 25,000 parts. Approximately 17,500 products from the affected lots have been implanted, approximately 90% of them in the US. From October 1999 to date. The Inter-Op shell was first introduced by Sulzer Orthopedics to the market in 1996. The products affected by the recall are listed below:

Catalog Numbers Product Lot Numbers Beginning # Lot Numbers Ending #
4360-00-039/065 Hemispherical Shells 1307848 1465372
4361-00-039/071 Rim Flare Shells 1398234 1465247
4362-00-043/081 Revision Shells 1397531 1465242
4363-00-053/081 Protrusio Shells 1403576 1453540

Those who are experiencing post-operative loosening of the shell from the bone will need surgery to replace the defective hip implant. Replacing an artificial hip can take twice as long in the operating room as putting one in because there is usually much more scar tissue.

Patients implanted with Sulzer Orthopedics hip implants should be aware of the following symptoms which may be caused by the shell being loose from the bone:

Up to 6 weeks:

  • The patient may be progressing well or reporting groin pain.
  • The patient may have increased thigh pain.
  • Patient has significant startup pain when rising from a seated position
  • The patient may have buttock pain.
  • An x-ray may show possible component migration.

6 weeks to 3 months:

  • Significant pain when placing weight on the defective hip implant, possibly requiring the use of a cane or crutch.
  • Patient cannot exert resistance in straight raised leg test and side-lying abduction test.

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms or are having serious health problems as a result of a Sulzer Orthopedics defective hip implant, please contact Alley, Clark & Greiwe to learn more about your legal rights.

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