Two major medical device manufacturers have come under fire for selling allegedly defective knee implants:

  • Zimmer Biomet – Persona Knee
  • DePuy Synthes – Attune Knee System
  • Legal action may be possible

In a number of lawsuits, injured patients say the implants loosened prematurely, forcing them back into the operating room for revision surgeries. Many suffered additional complications due to these corrective procedures. Perhaps more troubling, components from both devices had been recalled previously over serious safety risks.

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If you’re reading this page, you probably saw a television commercial about filing a knee implant lawsuit. A number of law firms, over the last few months, have started producing these ads, which usually run on local stations. In many commercials, attorneys mention two medical device manufacturers in particular, Zimmer Biomet and DePuy Synthes, the country’s leading makers of knee replacement devices.

Attorney Ads Inform Patients Of Knee Implant Litigation

The TV ads usually say that knee implants made by both Biomet and DePuy have been linked to unacceptably high rates of failure; some commercials refer to a specific complication known as “loosening.” This is what happens when a knee replacement, usually bolted or cemented to a patient’s shin bone, becomes detached.

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Needless to say, implant loosening can lead to severe complications.

As the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons notes, loosening is a primary contributor in most device failures; patients can begin to experience extreme pain, swelling and significant decreases in mobility and function. Most people with a loose knee replacement will need to undergo a costly revision procedure, which comes with its own significant risks.

Dangers Of Knee Revision Surgery

Revision surgery is more dangerous than initial knee implant placement, largely because removing a broken implant and replacing it with a new one takes much longer and requires specialized equipment. The procedure’s complexity increases complication rates.

Some patients develop blood clots, which can become life-threatening if they migrate to the heart or lungs. Others suffer nerve damage, while many will have to deal with excessive bleeding. Surgical infections are also possible, as is the case for all invasive operations. It should also be noted that people who get knee replacements are often older and already dealing with complex medical problems, a fact that may increase their risk for surgical complications even further.

Implant Recalls Mount

In reality, many knee implant patients should never have to undergo a revision procedure. Today’s most advanced devices are expected to last at least 20 years without much wear or damage.

In 2014, 4.7 million Americans were walking around with artificial knees, allowing patients to remain mobile despite severe arthritis and other medical conditions. Most of these patients are over the age of 65. Knee replacement is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the US and represents a huge patient population for medical device manufacturers to capitalize on. The knee implant industry, however, is not known for putting patient safety first.

Over the last 15 years, device manufacturers have issued over 700 recalls for knee replacement products. More than 7 out of every 10 of these recalls were announced by DePuy Synthes and Zimmer Biomet. In a wave of recent product liability lawsuits, patients say two knee replacement devices are particularly dangerous.

Knee Implants Linked To Early Failure

The Persona Knee, approved in 2012, was hailed by its manufacturer Zimmer Biomet as a literal “redefinition” of knee replacement surgery that would “usher […] in a new era of personalization.” DePuy Synthes had made similar claims about its “innovative” Attune Knee System, released in 2010. Both companies said that their revolutionary new products would allow surgeons to mimic the form and function of natural joints more accurately, in part due to precision sizing. Then, both implants were recalled.

Biomet, DePuy Recall Devices Over Safety Risks

Technically, Biomet recalled only one component of the Persona Knee, the device’s “trabecular metal tibial plate,” which sits directly on top of the shin bone. Biomet had learned, after tracking patient side effect reports, that the plate’s design increased the risk of implant loosening and failure. DePuy took a similar line, recalling the Attune Knee System’s “articulation surface instruments” in 2015. This component, featured in the implant’s accompanying “trial” device, had been outfitted with a small wire spring that could fall off during sizing tests, drop into the surgical site and cause severe complications if left inside the patient.

In both cases, the designs were modified, but many patients believe that these knee implants are still defective. Reports continue to surface, linking the Persona knee to premature failures, some occurring only one year after placement. Similar complaints about the Attune Knee System are being leveled against DePuy.

A Product Liability Lawsuit May Be Possible

Now, knee replacement patients are starting to fight back. In a series of new product liability lawsuits, patients who experienced loosening and device failure are suing DePuy and Biomet for monetary compensation. The vast majority of these patients were forced to undergo risky and expensive revision surgeries, exacerbating their financial losses.

Naturally, the struggle that these patients have had to endure in the name of personal health has also caused significant emotional trauma and stress. Families go bankrupt trying to cover their medical costs.

Find More Information

Our experienced attorneys are here to help. If you or a loved one underwent revision surgery after a knee replacement failure, we want to hear about it. Call us now, or fill out our online contact form, to speak with a knowledgable legal professional today. You can learn more about your legal options at no cost and no obligation. Even better, our lawyers always work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you pay us nothing until we secure compensation in your case. Contact us today to learn more.

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