To receive a knee replacement and regain mobility, you will need to undergo surgery. However, companies sometimes manufacture and distribute defective knee replacements. If you believe your knee replacement is defective, you may need additional surgeries to correct the problem.
As people age, the bones and cartilage in their knees may break down and cause intense pain. Knee replacements allow people to improve their mobility by removing the damaged parts of the knee. These parts are then replaced with metal, plastic, or synthetic materials.
The only way to receive a knee replacement is through surgery.
According to the Mayo Clinic, knee replacement surgery should be considered when:
- Cartilage and bone of the knee has eroded
- Knee pain interferes with walking, getting up, using stairs, or sitting
- Range of motion in the knee is limited due to deterioration
Knee replacement surgery is often recommended for patients who have severe arthritis. It is usually only considered if other treatments, like medications and physical therapy, do not help relieve pain.
Most successful knee replacements can last for 15 years or more, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, not all knee surgeries are successful.
If a defective knee replacement is used, it can cause serious health complications. The defective replacement may also have to be removed through additional surgeries.
If your knee replacement was found to be defective, contact Sokolove Law today. You may be entitled to financial compensation from the company that manufactured your defective device. This compensation can help cover the cost of treatment.
Defective Knee Replacement Health Risks
Defective knee replacements needlessly put people at higher risk of acute or long-term health problems. Though knee replacements are meant to last for years, defective knee replacements can loosen, wear out, or even dislocate in a matter of months.
Symptoms of a defective knee replacement include:
- Bone infarction (tissue death)
- Bone damage
- Pain and inflammation
- Redness of skin
This additional damage to the legs can lead to serious health issues at a time when patients should be adjusting to life with their knee replacement.
In many cases, the only way to effectively treat these health conditions is to remove the defective knee replacement. This means another round of surgery, which comes with its own set of health risks.
Knee Replacement Surgery Health Risks
Though knee replacement surgery only takes a few hours, it can lead to long-lasting — or deadly — health problems. The invasive nature of the surgery increases the risk of complications.
Risks associated with knee replacement surgery include:
- Continued knee pain
- Heart attacks
- Severe blood clots, resulting in leg amputation
These risks must be seriously considered before receiving knee surgery. However, defective knee replacements may increase these risks.
If the replacement must be removed, patients will need another surgery, known as a knee revision (or knee revision surgery), to fix the damage.
Knee revision surgery is more intensive than the original replacement surgery.
This is because doctors will need to:
- Remove the faulty knee replacement
- Take bone grafts if a lot of bone has been lost
- Occasionally use metal screws and mesh to strengthen the bone
- Install knee implants specifically used for knee revisions
Knee revision surgeries also put patients at risk of the health complications listed above for a second time.
Further, knee revision surgeries are often the only option for patients who want to regain full use of their leg. Alternative forms of treatment include knee fusion (which prevents the leg from bending at the knee) or amputation.
Cost of Knee Replacement Surgery
Outside of the serious health risks, defective knee replacements can be financially straining. The costs of knee replacement surgery often vary, but they are never cheap.
According to a 2017 analysis by Blue Cross Blue Shield, the average cost of a knee replacement surgery was roughly $34,000 on average. In some states, the cost exceeded $80,000.
Though insurance is usually able to reduce this cost significantly, knee replacement surgery can still be very expensive depending on your coverage.
In addition, the numbers above only account for the initial knee replacement — not the cost of a knee revision. Depending on the situation, the costs of knee revision surgery may also fall on you.
You never deserved to receive a defective knee replacement. By working with a legal team, the companies that made your defective knee replacement may be held financially responsible for your injuries.
Compensation can help pay for:
- Knee revision surgery
- Follow-up therapy
- Additional expenses, such as lost income if you were unable to work
Defective Knee Replacement Companies and Products
There are several different types of knee replacements that doctors can use. However, even the most high-profile knee replacements have come under fire for defective parts.
In many cases, defective knee replacements are the fault of the companies that made them. These companies have a duty to sell high-quality products that work properly. When their products fail, the companies have betrayed the trust of the medical community and the public.
Attune® Knee System
The Attune Knee System is manufactured by DePuy Synthes®, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson®. The product is promoted as a knee replacement that can help patients get back to normal life sooner. However, in some cases, it may actually prevent this.
As of 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had received approximately 1,400 reports that components of the Attune Knee System had failed. Victims needed to undergo knee revision surgery in nearly half of these cases.
This was not the first time Attune had come under scrutiny. In fact, over the last decade, DePuy has faced thousands of lawsuits that allege their joint replacements are defective.
In addition, the FDA has issued hundreds of recalls for DePuy products. Components of the company’s Attune knee replacements and revision implants were recalled in 2015 and 2018, respectively.
Defective Knee Replacements and Legal Help
According to recent statistics, nearly 30,000 people will require a knee revision surgery each year in the United States. This means another round of surgery and medical payments.
Defective knee replacements the most preventable reason that someone might need a knee revision surgery. Had companies taken more care in producing knee replacement products, the health issues you suffered may have been avoided.
You may be able to hold these companies financially responsible by working with a personal injury law firm. Through legal action, you may receive money to help cover the cost of your surgeries and other medical expenses.
Sokolove Law has over 40 years of experience in handling personal injury cases. If your case is valid, we may be able to help you receive financial compensation for your defective knee replacement.