Why Do Patients Need a Knee Replacement?
Every year in the U.S., surgeons perform 600,000 knee replacement procedures. The reasons for these procedures vary by patient, though many are related to degenerative conditions and the natural wear-and-tear associated with aging.
People who suffered torn ACLs or MCLs years ago, before technology became more sophisticated, may need knee replacements as well. In the past, surgeons would remove the torn cartilage rather than repairing it, leaving less support and cushion material around the joints.
When knee joints deteriorate, patients can experience painful bone spurs and the cartilage is less effective at shock absorption. If the pain becomes unmanageable and is detracting from a person’s quality of life, they often choose to undergo knee replacement surgery.
This decision isn’t taken lightly, as knee replacements are major operations and require months of recovery and physical therapy. However, many people opt for the surgery because effective knee replacements provide significant relief by alleviating strain on the deteriorating bones, and they’re typically designed to last for 15 to 20 years.
Unfortunately, not all cases turn out as expected. When patients experience complications in the first few years following a knee replacement surgery, it is highly possible that the procedure may have involved a defective medical device.
Signs of a Defective Knee Replacement Component
The months immediately after a knee replacement surgery are physically challenging and require extensive physical therapy. It’s difficult to say whether the pain and swelling experienced during this initial period are related to a defective component or whether they’re a normal part of the healing process.
When patients experience complications in the first few years following a knee replacement surgery, it is highly possible that the procedure may have involved a defective medical device.
Once a patient has sufficiently recovered to a new baseline mobility level, the pain and swelling should resolve. But if they continue to experience these symptoms or begin feeling that the joint is loose, they should see their doctor right away.
The orthopedic surgeon will typically do an X-ray or CT scan to find out what is causing the ongoing issues. Patients have an unusual physiological response to an implanted medical devices or the component device may have been placed improperly.
But if these causes are ruled out, is it highly possible that either the joint replacement component or the bone cement used to secure it in place – may have been defective. For example, in recent years, there have been a number of cases in which DePuy Attune Knee Replacements were found to be defective, causing patients pain and swelling and, in extreme circumstances, leaving them few options except to undergo a second surgery.
DePuy Attune Knee Lawsuit
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 or another knee replacement that tends to fail or has been recalled, 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 Knee Replacement Lawsuit?
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.
If you are experiencing symptoms related to the Attune Knee component, you may be eligible to participate in legal action against DePuy.
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.
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 Depuy Attune Knee component, you may be eligible to participate in legal action against DePuy.
What to Expect If You Work With Us
The first step Van Wey, Metzler & Williams 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.
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.
Van Wey, Metzler & Williams 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.
If your defective knee replacement is not a DePuy Attune knee, it may still become a mass tort case at some point in the future.
How Can We Help You?
If you experience pain or discomfort or feel your knee replacement is looser or less stable than it was right after surgery, the first thing to do is see your doctor. The sooner you get medical feedback, the greater the chance that your doctor will be able to help you without having to undergo a second revision surgery. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether a loose component is causing the problem, in which case you may want to speak with a lawyer.
In knee replacement lawsuits where products have a track record of being faulty, there may be legal grounds for a recovery. If you are experiencing ongoing complications from a knee replacement, we would encourage you to contact an experienced product liability firm that can investigate your potential claim to determine whether you might have grounds for a recovery.
Van Wey, Metzler & Williams is currently accepting certain defective, recalled, and DePuy 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.
We are here for you. Call us today!