Artificial knee implants are medical devices intended to provide patients suffering from knee pain or instability with renewed mobility and relief from pain, but in some cases, knee implants fail prematurely, exposing the patient to devastating complications like chronic pain, loss of mobility and infection injuries. When knee implants fracture, loosen or otherwise fail, the resulting consequences can be devastating and costly for the patient and his or her family. Besides sometimes requiring additional surgeries to replace the defective knee implant, patients with artificial knee implants may also suffer from severe side effects like bone loss or infection, and may even experience their knee implant becoming loose or detaching. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of a defective knee implant, contact a product liability lawyer to discuss your options for legal recourse.
Knee replacement surgery is a major operation, and defective knee implants manufactured by companies like DePuy Orthopaedics can cause debilitating injuries for patients, and may result in the need for additional surgeries to remove or replace the faulty knee replacement system. In response to concerns about the risk of artificial knee implant side effects, many patients are now looking for alternatives to total knee replacement surgery that may offer the same or similar benefits, without the added risk of complications. The following are some possible alternatives to DePuy knee implants:
July 2009 – DePuy and Australian health regulators recall the DePuy LCS Duofix Femoral knee replacement, due to an increasing number of patients requiring revision surgery to replace the implant.
August 2009 – A Class 2 recall is issued for a component of DePuy’s PFC Sigma Knee System, due to a risk of cracks forming on the “lateral side of the condyle in the posterior chamfer region.”
December 2011 – The FDA sends a warning letter to DePuy Orthopaedics, indicating that some of the company’s knee implants do not have the proper approvals for commercial sale.
January 2012 – DePuy issues a voluntary recall of its PFC Sigma Knee Systems and other custom devices, after the FDA warned the company that it had failed to seek FDA approval for commercial sale.
February 2013 – An urgent Class I recall is issued for the DePuy LPS Diaphyseal Sleeve component of the Limb Preservation System, due to reports of failure, including implant loosening and fracture.
August 2013 – The FDA issues a Class I recall for another component of the DePuy Limb Preservation System, the Lower Extremity Dovetail Intercalary component, which can fracture under normal physical loads.
2011 – A group of researchers from Australia finds that new artificial knee and hip implants are not more durable than older, less expensive models (30% less so), and some, like DePuy’s recalled Sigma knee implants, have higher-than-normal revision rates.
November 2012 – A Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery study comparing the clinical outcomes of patients implanted with the Sigma and LCS Complete knee implants finds that the Sigma design is prone to serious complications, like excessive wear, knee instability, joint problems, and considerable bone loss if revision surgery becomes necessary.
September 2013 – Research examining the results of 77 patients implanted with one or more PFC Sigma knee implants report complications, including bone loss, knee instability, and the need for revision surgery, after an average follow-up of roughly 12 years.
2014 – A detailed report from the National Joint Registry for England, Wales and Northern Ireland highlights “a higher revision rate following partial knee replacement and isolated replacements of the patello-femoral joint.”
Every year, more than 1.1 million people in the United States undergo surgery for a hip or knee replacement, believing that the artificial implant will help relieve their pain and improve their mobility. In fact, medical device makers like DePuy Orthopaedics market their knee implants as safe and effective, despite the fact that the devices have been linked to serious complications in implant recipients, including chronic pain, loss of mobility, long-term disability, and the need for revision surgery to remove or replace the device. DePuy and other knee implant manufacturers are legally responsible for marketing their medical devices properly and accurately, and providing consumers and the medical community with adequate warnings about their risks. Consumers who believe they have been injured by defective knee implants are pursuing legal claims against DePuy Orthopaedics, alleging that the company:
If you or a loved one has suffered from a side effect allegedly associated with a defective knee implant like DePuy’s LCS or PFC line of knee replacement devices, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help put you in touch with a knowledgeable defective knee implant attorney. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses, which you can pursue by filing a product liability lawsuit against the allegedly negligent manufacturing company. Compensation for defective knee implant injuries may include medical expenses, physical therapy and rehabilitation, disability, lost earning capacity, special equipment, lost income, pain and suffering, and loss of future income. You are not at fault for any adverse side effects caused by a defective knee implant. By hiring an experienced defective knee implant lawyer, you can pursue the compensation you deserve and protect yourself from further harm.