DePuy Attune Knee Lawsuit
As the elderly population of the United States grows, so does the need for sophisticated medical devices such as knee replacement components. The DePuy company attempted to capitalize on this demand with its Attune Knee system.
The system came on the market several years ago, and DePuy billed it as a longer-lasting alternative to other knee replacement components. However, patients who received Attune Knee components in their surgeries have experienced higher failure rates than with comparable products from other companies.
As reports of failures and adverse events accumulated in recent years — there have been roughly 1,500 such reports — the FDA began investing the Attune Knee system and found that the replacement system’s design is defective.
Why Attune Knee Devices Fail
When patients undergo knee replacement surgeries, their surgeons will cement implant materials to the existing bone surrounding the knee. The cement is extremely hard and is designed to adhere to the natural bone and hold the implant in place. Often, the artificial materials are rough to the touch, with a sandpaper-like texture that improves adhesion.
However, the Attune Knee system uses much smoother material than other knee replacement products, which can increase the risk of the implant loosening and breaking away from the natural bone. In some cases, patients who received Attune Knee devices experienced pain and swelling following their surgeries. When their doctors reopened the area, they found the device completely detached.
Symptoms of Knee Replacement Failure
Not all patients who receive DePuy Attune Knee devices will experience adverse effects. Many failures occur within the first two years of implantation. Typically, patients begin to notice pain they didn’t previously have once they get back to their normal baseline in their daily lives.
Knee replacement is a significant surgery that requires extensive physical therapy as part of the recovery process, so it can be difficult to know whether your pain is normal for the circumstances or whether it’s related to a defective implant.
But once you’re back to a normal routine and are using your knee as you did pre-surgery, you’ll have a better sense of whether there is any abnormal pain or swelling. Some people experience joint instability a year or two out. They notice that the joint doesn’t feel the same as it did right after the surgery, which can be an indicator of a problem with the replacement.
That’s when patients typically seek advice from their orthopedic surgeons, who will conduct an exam and imaging to determine the cause of the pain and discomfort. If an implant has detached, the patient may have to undergo a second surgery to replace the defective implant.
The Risks of a Re-Replacement Procedure
In addition to enduring the grueling surgery and recovery process a second time, patients must contend with other risks from undergoing an implant replacement procedure.
Any time you have a second operation on the same location, you face an increased risk of morbidity due to infection. There’s also a lower chance of the second component being effective, and the surgeon will likely need to take more bone to replace the defective implant.
Some patients choose to have both knees replaced at the same time to avoid multiple surgeries, which leaves them largely incapacitated for several months at a time. If they then have debonding issues in those knees, they could lose a year or more undergoing a second, more complicated surgery to address the defective components.
Even if you’re not showing symptoms at the moment but you know you have a DePuy Attune Knee component, make sure you follow your doctor’s advice and communicate with them about any issues you experience. You don’t want to delay addressing potential complications because they will likely worsen over time. Notifying your doctor early may help you prevent infections and perhaps even a second surgery.
Do You Have Grounds for a DePuy Attune Knee Lawsuit?
If you received a DePuy Attune Knee replacement, it’s very possible your implant will fail at some point. However, receiving one of these devices is not grounds for a lawsuit on its own. Some people won’t experience debonding symptoms for 15 or 20 years. Others will never experience adverse reactions. But if you are experiencing symptoms related to the Attune Knee component, you may be eligible to participate in legal action against DePuy.
We encourage anyone who has undergone knee replacement surgery to pay attention to any pain, swelling, stiffness, inflammation, or other discomfort they experience in their knees. Often, people ignore such issues because they dread the prospect of another surgery, so they hope the problems will resolve on their own.
Left unchecked, however, the situation will likely deteriorate and the underlying injury will become more severe. If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor and find out what’s going on. Some people report experiencing a clicking or grinding that wasn’t present immediately following their operation, and that can indicate implant problems as well. The best course of action is getting your doctor’s opinion on the cause of the issue and whether you should leave an implant in or pursue a second surgery.
If your doctor determines that these complications are caused by defective components, you may want to consider legal representation or at least consulting with a legal team. Van Wey Law is currently accepting certain DeyPuy Attune Knee replacement lawsuits, but not all cases are the same. Some will resolve without a suit ever being filed, while others will be part of a lengthier legal process. Because DePuy is a large corporation and is part of the Johnson & Johnson brand, Attune Knee cases may become complicated, and having legal counsel will help you navigate the process.
When to Hire A DePuy Attune Knee Implant Lawyer
In cases involving defective devices, statute of limitation laws can make legal action urgent. For cases in Texas, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date you learned that you are a potential victim of a defective product.
If you intend to explore your legal options, we recommend reaching out to a lawyer as soon as possible. It’s very rare for victims to receive legal recourse outside the statute of limitations, so it’s important to have a lawyer investigate your case sooner rather than later.
When dealing with lawsuits against major corporations, the only way to hold them accountable is through the legal system, and it is unfortunate when victims are unable to pursue their claims simply because the statute of limitations has run out.
What to Expect If You Work With Van Wey Law
The first step Van Wey Law takes once we’ve agreed to investigate a case is to request your medical records and speak with your doctor. If you’re scheduled for a revision surgery or have recently undergone one, we’ll issue preservation letters to the facility where the operation was done to request that they keep the components and bone cement that are removed so we can include them in the investigation.
This is important because if we eventually file a lawsuit, we may want medical experts to review your file and examine the devices and cement. Hospitals generally don’t keep those components for very long, so time is of the essence in sending out the preservation requests as we don’t want to lose potentially critical evidence.
Van Wey Law is representing DePuy Attune Knee lawsuits across the country, and we feel that it’s important for any potential plaintiffs to understand that these are massive tort cases. Companies such as DePuy are heavily defended, and legal cases involving them can last anywhere from three to five years, sometimes longer.
Suits of this kind involve a large number of claims, and how they unfold hinges quite a bit on the strength of the evidence of whether the company knew the devices were defective, and when and how they responded to that information.
We update our clients on their cases’ status through letters and conference calls, and we make ourselves available to answer any questions that come up along the way. But it’s important to understand that such lawsuits do take a long time to resolve and you should commit yourself for the long haul if you choose to pursue action against DePuy.
Contact Van Wey Law for a DePuy Attune Knee Lawsuit
If you are suffering pain and complications from a DePuy Attune Knee replacement, contact Van Wey Law to schedule a free consultation. We’ll discuss your circumstances and help you determine whether you have a case. Contact us below to speak with an experienced DePuy Attune knee replacement lawyer: