At first, Exactech issued no recall for hip liners, being more concerned with malfunctions in its hip and ankle devices. The company falsely claimed a 99% success rate for its hips in early promotional campaigns. But in 2019, Exactech announced its Connexion GXL acetabular hip liner, already placed in 90,000 patients since 2010, was vulnerable to premature linear and volumetric wear from inferior packaging since 2004.
Last July (2021), Exactech voluntarily issued a recall of the 90,000 Connexion GXL hip implants, citing 18 years of defective packaging that allowed air to seep into inferior “vacuum-sealed” packaging and oxidize the polyethylene liners used as shock absorbers between the implant and surrounding bone casing.
Oxidation affects the hip insert’s flexibility, shortening its lifespan to less than half the 10-year longevity assured in marketing campaigns. Brittle liners in hip joint implants can cause a myriad of complications, beginning with imbalance and difficulty moving, and progressing to osteolysis (bone destruction) and irreversible bone damage from early failure.