Defective Knee Implant Lawyers in Charleston, IL
30+ Years of Experience Fighting for the Wrongfully Injured
More than 600,000 Americans undergo knee replacement surgery every year, and for nearly 10% of these patients, it’s not their first time having this surgery. Knee implants often fail, leaving their recipients in pain and without the improved range of motion they were promised. If you find yourself the victim of a defective knee implant, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the liable party.
Some of the biggest manufacturers of these implants, including Zimmer Biomet, DePuy Synthes, and Stryker, recalled nearly 700 implant models between 2003 and 2018. Unlike a defective drug or most other dangerous consumer products, patients can’t just take a recalled prosthetic knee back to the store. They must undergo another surgery, one that lasts even longer than the original knee replacement, to replace the dangerous device and alleviate their painful symptoms.
To companies like DePuy Synthes and Zimmer Biomet, prosthetic joints may just be a gateway to profit; but for elderly and/or disabled Americans, they are essential to restoring movement, mobility, and comfort. Manufacturers of medical devices have a duty to take extra precautions because their products have the potential to cause great harm. When they let design or production mistakes slip by, they are unfairly putting profit before patient health and safety.
Call The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm today at (217) 394-5885 if you are dealing with a defective or failed knee implant.
Knee Replacement Recalls
Some companies have recalled more knee implant products than others: DePuy Synthes is culpable for a plurality of the issues, having recalled 485 products between 2003 and 2018. Patients have also written up several complaints against the popular Zimmer Biomet brand. In the same time span, Zimmer Biomet issued 355 recalls. Stryker, another popular knee prosthetic manufacturer, comes in third with a total of 125 products pulled from shelves over a span of 15 years.
Other manufacturers including Smith & Nephew and Wright Medical have also recalled products, but at a much lower rate than the three companies listed above.
What Symptoms Do Defective Knee Implants Cause?
There’s a difference between knee surgery resulting in complications and a knee implant failing. Not all knee replacement injuries indicate manufacturer negligence.
The symptoms of a failing knee implanttypically include:
- Swelling (of entire knee, or in small part of knee)
- Stiffness (of entire knee, or in small part of knee)
Most problems caused by faulty knee implants don’t happen right after surgery—they may appear months or even years down the road. If you experience changes in function or increased knee pain, you should speak to a doctor. A medical professional can advise you on what’s behind the symptoms you’re experiencing, and they can help determine whether the cause stems from a surgical complication or a defect in the implant itself. If a faulty implant is to blame, we can help you explore your legal options.
What Causes Knee Implants to Fail?
Poor materials, unsafe packaging, and human error can all cause serious problems for the recipients of knee implants. The most common complaints behind prosthetic knee lawsuitsare:
- Loose prosthetic caused by unexpected/rapid product deterioration (both screws and cement can fail)
- Infections around the implant, which may be caused by an unsterile packaging process
- Rapid wear and tear caused by poor manufacturing
- Instability or decreased range of motion due to missing, wrong size, or otherwise incorrect parts
You can learn if your implant has been recalled, and why, by checking the FDA’s Medical Device Recalls Database.
Treatment for Defective Knee Implants
Not every problem implant needs to be fully removed and replaced. In some cases, doctors can clean the area and re-attach the prosthetic, exchanging connectors if needed, or they may replace parts of the implant. In other cases, extensive problems may require a complete replacement, also called a knee revision. This surgery can take longer than the original knee replacement and may require extensive pre- and post-operative care.
Recovering After a Knee Revision
The rehabilitation process after a knee revision is similar to that after a knee replacement. Patients typically use painkillers and may also need blood transfusions or assistive devices. Specific exercises and regular physical therapist visits help the patient recover motion in the joint. These demands can lead to missed work and other costly disruptions of routine.
Potential Complications of Knee Revision
As with any surgery, a knee revision can lead to other problems that prolong the recovery process or even have permanent effects on knee function.
Corrective knee surgery can result in serious complications, including:
- Reduced range of motion
- Stiffness in joint
- Swelling of replacement site
- Prosthesis/wound infection
- Formation of blood clots
- Bone fracture
Such conditions can lead to even more time in the hospital and additional pricey treatments. It’s not fair to burden patients with the costs of medical troubles that stem from someone else’s actions, which is why our firm is here to help you stand up against the liable party.
File a Lawsuit for Defective Knee Implants
If you suffered because of a faulty knee prosthetic, you could be eligible to recover compensation from the manufacturer. The costs of a knee revision are only the tip of the iceberg, these issues can lead to several other problems, both financial and personal. Because these types of issues can be so stressful and problematic, you could be entitled to compensation for much more than the actual cost of the revision surgery.
You could also recover compensation for the following:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Cost of other related treatment (e.g., infections from the revision surgery)
We are here to help patients take on the medical manufacturers that wronged them. If you had to undergo a second surgery to fix problems with your knee implant, or if you’ve been harmed by a defective implant in any way, talk to our team. We are here to help you protect your rights against careless companies.
Call our attorneys at The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm today for a free consult: (217) 394-5885 or contact us online to discuss your potential case with our team.
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