Despite the overall high success rate in knee replacement surgeries, patients may still experience problems if their knee replacement device is defective. Problems defective knee implants may include loosening of the tibial component at the implant-cement interface. Affected patients often present with pain on weight bearing, swelling, and decreased range of motion. We are currently investigating cases involving individuals who have undergone revision surgery due to loosening after a knee replacement.

Knee replacements can improve quality of life

The knee is made up of a complicated set of tendons, muscles, ligaments and bones. When the joints become damaged by either progressive arthritis, trauma or other ate destructive diseases of the joint, it can cause severe pain that limits everyday activities or even moderate to severe pain while resting during the day or night. In these circumstances, knee replacement surgery can help restore quality of life.

More than 700,000 total knee replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedics, and nearly 90 percent of patients who undergo knee replacement report a dramatic reduction of knee pain following surgery. Knee implants allow for normal activities and motion, and typically last 15 to 20 years or more.

There are more than a dozen manufacturers of artificial knee implants.

Components of a knee replacement
Components of a knee replacement. Not shown but used in many procedures is bone cement.

When a Knee Implant Fails

Knee implants are designed to last 15 years or more. When unexpected loosening of the tibial plate occurs, it causes extreme pain and swelling. Often, painful revision surgery is required to remove and replace the device. Complications of revision surgery include bone loss, muscle damage, nerve damage and infection.

Signs of knee implant failure include:

  • Instability when standing, or the feeling like the knee is going to give out backwards or sideways.
  • Popping, clicking or crunching sounds coming from the implant.
  • Heat or warmth around the knee joint.
  • Joint pain and/or swelling.
  • Decreased range of motion.

What leads to Knee Implant Failure?

A failed knee implant is usually the result of wear, infection, and loosening of the implant. Sometimes the knee implant failure can be linked to a defective implant or component used during total knee replacement surgeries, such as bone cement.

Knee Implant Recalls

In recent years, manufacturers of knee implants and components, including Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Synthes and Zimmer Biomet, have issued recalls due to issues including high rates of implant failures requiring revision surgery.

  • June 2018 – Smith & Nephew recalls 42,050 Journey I BCS Knee Systems due to higher than normal revision rates due to early components loosening and other problems.
  • June 2018 – Smith & Nephew recalls 42,050 Journey I BCS Knee Systems due to higher than normal revision rates due to early components loosening and other problems.
  • February 2017 – Zimmer Biomet recalls 28,253 various polyethylene implants and Repicci II Tibial Components used in partial knee replacement due to high levels of endotoxin in the components.
  • December 2017 – DePuy recalls 2,110 Sigma HP PFJ Cemented Trochlear implants, a standalone component of the partial knee system, due to the high rate of revision surgery.
  • May 2016 –? Zimmer recalls 10,256 Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate instruments and brackets due to an increase in complaints of radiolucent lines (intervals between the cement and bone) and loosening.
  • June 2016 – Stryker Orthopaedics recalls 12,469 Modular Handle Triathlon Instruments, part of the Triathlon Partial Knee Replacement system, because the instruments come apart during surgery.
  • January 2015 – Zimmer recalls 11,658 Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate/Personal TM Tibia devices due to an increase in complaints of radiolucent lines (intervals between the cement and bone) and loosening.
  • March 2015 – DePuy Orthopaedics recalls 19,059 of its LCS Complete RPS Knee Systems due to higher revision rates reported in Australia.
  • June 2015 – DePuy recalls 3,474 Attune Knee Tibial Articulation Surface surgical tools because the surgical instrument could be left in the patient.
  • September 2015 – DePuy recalls 7,488 Specialist 2 Intramedullary Road tools used in both primary and revision knee procedures and tibial resection because they may fracture and leave parts in the patient.

Knee Replacement Failure Claim?

Attorneys with Beasley Allen Law Firm are currently investigating cases involving individuals who have undergone revision surgery because their knee implant loosened or failed prematurely. For a free consultation contact our leading medical device attorneys.

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