DePuy Attune Knee Implant Failures May Be Higher Than Suspected

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.

DePuy Attune Knee Implant Failures May Be Higher Than Suspected

Studies indicate that patients with DePuy Attune Knee replacements are experiencing “unusually high” early failure rates. However, experts believe that these estimates are only a sample of real-world data as they fail to consider unreported events. Consequently, the true rate of DePuy Attune Knee failure is likely much higher.

Recently, the Journal of Knee Surgery published a landmark DePuy Attune Knee study that explored the FDA’s Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database Attune Knee implant reports. At the time, there were 232 of these reports.

Researchers reviewed clinical, radiographic, and intraoperative findings for Attune Knee patients who later required revision surgery. In just three hospital databases, researchers isolated 15 cases where patients specifically experienced tibial loosening at the implant-cement junction.

Patients presented with pain on weight bearing, effusion and decreased range of motion (ROM) within 2 years after surgery. Radiographic evaluation demonstrated loosening of the tibial components in 2 of 15 knees. This included cruciate retaining, posterior stabilized, fixed bearing and rotating platform bearing designs,” researchers wrote. “Intraoperative findings demonstrated gross loosening of the tibial component at the implant-cement interface.”

Furthermore, the study went on to indicate that this may only be the tip of the iceberg. Researchers found 21 MAUDE reports of tibial loosening at the implant-cement site in the previous two months alone. They also discovered “numerous other tibial failure” reports that did not specify the responsible mechanism.

We believe that this complication is underreported due to failure of radiographs to assess loosening. In addition, MAUDE database reporting is not consistent and competing companies cannot provide data on the revised components. In patients who have negative workup for a painful joint, one must consider the diagnosis of debonding,” the study concluded.

DePuy Attune Knee Failures Need Closer Inspection to Protect Patients

There are approximately 600,000 total knee replacement surgeries performed each year in the U.S. and experts are predicting explosive growth in the field over the next decade. Annual knee replacement surgeries could reach upwards of 3.5 million procedures by 2030. As one of the leading manufacturers, DePuy knee implant defects are a significant concern moving forward.

Consequently, experts are calling for a closer look into the defective knee implant to protect patients from the swelling, pain, and decreased mobility associated with these sorts of failures that require painful, invasive revision surgery to repair.

Surgeons continue to encounter tibial loosening during revision surgeries. They indicate that the Attune Knee implant’s smooth surfaces may prevent the medical glue from properly affixing the knee’s components to the bone, endangering thousands of patients.

DePuy’s Attune Knee Defense

DePuy continues to deny that its device is patently defective and points to research findings to justify the Attune Knee implant’s performance. The company released a report from the National Joint Registry of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (NJR) this past year. The report indicates that the DePuy Attune Knee outperforms expectations and competing implants. However, the introduction names DePuy as the sole distributor, and the disclaimer says that all the data was obtained from unnamed third-parties. Furthermore, the NJR clearly states that it is not even responsible for the accuracy of the data it used. Consequently, it’s merely just another marketing tool for DePuy to plaster on its literature.

The National Joint Registry (NJR) produces this report through its contractor, Northgate Public Services (UK) Limited (NPS) using data collected, collated and provided by third parties” the disclaimer states. “As a result, neither NJR or NPS takes any responsibility for the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of any data used or referred to in this report.”

Meanwhile, following continuing reports of significant tibial issues with the Attune Knee, the company quietly replaced the tibial base component. The new version is not smooth, allowing for better adhesion. However, thousands of patients still have the previous rendition and face the very real possibility of debilitating complications.

DePuy Attune Knee Implant Lawsuits

At least one lawsuit is citing the DePuy’s new Attune S+ as an obvious admission of the original knee’s substantial defects.

Defendants’ research, design, marketing, and placement of the Attune S+ with new design features on the market aimed at increasing fixation is an admission that the original Attune tibial base plate was defective in its composition and/or construction,” the lawsuit states.

DePuy and its parent company Johnson & Johnson have a horrific record of product failure. Again and again, these companies have knowingly sold dangerous products to maximize earnings while marginalizing consumers’ health, rights, and lives. And, joint implants are no exception. The companies’ A.S.R. and Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant recall is the largest in history. As more evidence comes to light in the litigation, experts expect thousands more individuals to come forward to take DePuy to task for consciously causing irreparable harm for profit once again with its Attune Knee product line.