Knee replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is a common orthopedic procedure used to relieve pain in patients whose knees have been damaged by debilitating arthritis, severe injury, or excessive wear and tear. Knee replacement is an option if these patients didn't respond to less invasive treatments, such as medication or the use walking supports. In a total knee replacement surgery, the damaged surfaces of the knee joint are removed and replaced by a prosthetic implant made of metal, plastic, or a combination of the two materials.
The Attune Knee System, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, is one of the most popular knee replacement devices on the market. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010, the DePuy Attune Knee System was touted as being able to provide patients with increased stability and a better range of motion. However, some patients claim that the Attune knee replacement implants have not lived up to those expectations. In the years since its approval, the FDA has received numerous complaints from DePuy Attune patients who reported complications with their implant, including loosening of tibial components that necessitated painful and invasive revision or reconstructive surgeries.
DePuy Orthopaedics is primarily known for its total hip and knee replacement systems. Although the company is an undeniable leader in the medical device manufacturing field, it's had many legal battles due to flawed or failed implants. DePuy recalled components of its Limb Preservation System® knee implant in 2013 after they were linked to reports of loosening, fracturing and premature failure.
The company also recalled its ASR® metal-on-metal hip devices in 2010 due to unusually high failure rates, and is currently facing nearly 9,000 lawsuits from patients who claim to have experienced severe health problems related to its Pinnacle® hip implant.
Common Problems Associated With Knee Implants
Patients with knee implants can experience a wide variety of uncomfortable to debilitating problems, including:
- Joint pain
- Nerve damage
- Loosening or fracture of the device components
- Fractures of the surrounding bone
- Joint instability
- Device dislocation
- Misalignment of implant components
Talk to your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms in the months or years following your knee replacement surgery:
- Swelling around the knee joints
- Inflammation or redness
- Decreased mobility
- Clicking or grinding sounds when walking
Original Replacement Vs. Revision or Reconstructive Surgeries
Thanks to advances in modern medical technology, total knee replacements can be expected to function well for up to 20 years. However, for patients whose implants fail prematurely, a painful revision surgery is a probability. Knee revision surgeries are considered more painful and invasive than a first-time knee replacement, as they usually require breaking the faulty device away from the bone and, in many cases, the implant is cemented into place.
Occasionally, these implants can damage the surrounding bone so severely that a reconstructive surgery is required to completely rebuild the knee before a replacement device can be installed. In addition to an excruciatingly painful surgery and rehabilitation period, revision and reconstructive surgeries can also expose patient to an increased risk of infection and other undesirable surgical complications, such as excessive bleeding, deep venous thrombosis, nerve or blood vessel damage, and pulmonary embolism.
Did Your DePuy Attune Implant Fail?
McGartland Law is currently investigating possible lawsuits on behalf of patients who have experienced health problems related to failure of the DePuy Attune Knee System. If you or someone you love required knee revision or reconstructive surgery due to a loosened or fractured DePuy Attune implant, you may be eligible to seek compensation for damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Let the experienced team with McGartland Law help you explore your legal options. Our firm offers no-cost and no-obligation initial consultations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss the details of your case.