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May 31, 2018

Knee Replacement Patients Report Arthrex Knee Implant Loosening and Failure

Did Your Arthrex Knee Implant Loosen?

McGartland Law is currently investigating possible lawsuits on behalf of patients who have experienced health problems related to knee implants. If you or someone you love required knee revision or reconstructive surgery due to a loosened or fractured 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.

Joint pain can lead to replacement surgeries for those who do not respond to less invasive treatments. Knee replacements or arthroplasty are particularly common as a way of relieving chronic knee pain. A knee replacement may be recommended for those with arthritis, a severe injury or excessive wear and tear to the joint. Severely damaged knee joints may require a total replacement that removes the damaged surfaces and replaces them with a prosthetic implant. 

The Arthrex iBalance implant was developed as a surgical option that could help certain patients avoid many of the repeat surgeries required in a traditional total knee replacement. Formulated specifically for patients with multi-compartmental knee cartilage degeneration, the iBalance TKA System was approved for use in December 2013 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) via the 510(k) fast-track process. Since that approval, Arthrex has released a recall that affects 2,378 devices due to an error in manufacturing. In addition to the recall, there have been many reports of implant failure, including complete failure of the tibial trays which resulted in the need for painful, invasive and otherwise unnecessary revision surgeries. 

Arthrex, Inc.

Know for its global reach and orthopedic research and development, Arthrex, Inc., develops more than 1,000 products and procedures each year. Despite their industry-leading technology, this family held company has been in the court system many times to defend products, though most legal battles involve patent infringement. The Arthrex knee implant recall is one of the first for this company. 

Problems and Symptoms of a Failing Knee Implant

While no medical procedure is completely without risk, the complications that can occur with a total knee replacement can range from minor discomfort to totally debilitating. This list includes the most common symptoms, but it is not exhaustive.

  • Swelling in and around the surgical area
  • Increased or continuing joint pain
  • Painful, and possibly progressive, nerve damage
  • Loosening or fracture of the device components
  • Fractures of the surrounding bone
  • Instability in the joint, leading to slow recovery times
  • Device dislocation where the shifting placement requires revision surgery
  • Misalignment that can cause a total failure with normal use

If you notice any swelling, pain, inflammation, redness, stiffness, warmth, infection, mobility challenges, or a clicking or grinding noise when walking, you should immediately contact your doctor. These can be signs of one of the issues listed above and may mean that revision surgery is required.  

Why Revisions Surgeries Should Be Avoided

Most implants, when functioning as advertised, are expected to last for up to two decades without the need for further surgical intervention. Unfortunately, a failure in the implant can make painful revision surgeries a necessity. These surgeries are often even more painful than the original Arthrex knee implant installation due to the fact that this system is installed using cement. Additional risk factors for a revision surgery for the Arthrex knee implant can include excessive bleeding, deep vein thrombosis, nerve damage, blood vessel damage, pulmonary embolism, and infection. 

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