Knee implants are intended to increase the quality of life for those whose joints have passed the point of repair, but what if the implant itself is faulty? Patients who have received knee replacement surgery and received a DePuy Synthes Attune knee replacement implant may have such a cause for concern, as further evidence has begun to show that this device may not be functioning as intended in a large number of cases.
Here’s what you should know about DePuy Synthes Attune failures, including how they fail, symptoms to look out for, what may be necessary for repair, and what you can do to protect your legal rights if your DePuy knee implant has failed.
DePuy Synthes Implant Failure Issues
DePuy Synthes, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has faced a number of issues with many of its hip and knee products, and the Attune knee implant is only the latest in a long line of hardware issues. The DePuy Synthes Attune total knee arthroplasty (TKA) system is supposed to last a minimum of fifteen years, and yet more and more reports of failure are coming in after as little as two years.
Not only has the company itself reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that there have been a number of failures, doctors themselves are starting to complain, as in this 2017 study from the Journal of Knee Surgery. The nine orthopedic surgeons who contributed to this study found that the Attune TKA is particularly prone to failure at a point called the “implant-cement interface” of the tibia. This is where the bottom portion of the implant is bonded to the bones of the lower leg to complete the joint with surgical cement. When the tibial plate fails, the entire implant becomes unstable, leading to serious pain, infection, and tissue damage.
The problems with this system have been such an ongoing concern that an FDA recall was issued for one component of the implant in July of 2015, when a tool called the Tibial Articulation Surface Trial instrument was found able to potentially break inside the implant site at the time of surgery. This break could go unnoticed by surgeons, leading to a loose piece of hardware being left inside the patient and causing harm. This recall involved nearly 3,500 units and was terminated in November of 2015.
Signs of a Failing DePuy Knee Implant
If you have a DePuy Synthes Attune TKA system or another type of knee replacement, here are some of the potential signs of a failing implant that you should be aware of:
- Throbbing, aching pain that won’t go away
- Redness, swelling, heat, and other signs of inflammation
- A decrease or loss of the range of motion of the joint
- A feeling of instability or wobbling in the joint when standing or bearing weight
- Sideways or backwards shifting movements in the knee
If you are experiencing these or other symptoms with your knee implant, talk to your doctor right away, as you could be experiencing a serious problem and suffer lasting damage to your knee and leg, including muscle, ligament, and bone damage.
A total revision surgery, in which the entire implant is removed and a new one is put in, is typically the only solution once an implant has failed. This type of surgery is often longer and more complicated than the original implant, causing more pain and taking more time to heal, as well.
Protect Your Legal Rights
If you’ve suffered from a defective DePuy Synthes Attune total knee implant system, you have legal rights. It’s important to hold manufacturers of dangerous and defective medical devices accountable for their actions when they hurt people, and you could be eligible to receive financial compensation for your knee implant issues. This could include money to pay for your revision surgery, new implant, follow-up care, physical therapy and rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to the failed implant.
The attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP believe in standing up for the rights of those who have been hurt by defective medical devices, and we’re here to help you and your family begin the recovery process today. To speak to an experienced legal professional about your knee implant problems, call us by phone today, use our online contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.