Doctors often tell patients that knee replacement (TKR) surgery is one of the safest orthopedic surgeries they can get, and it should relieve the pain they are feeling due to arthritis or other conditions. However, many patients continue to experience chronic pain after knee replacement. One potential cause of this pain is a faulty knee implant.
Experiencing serious pain after your surgery can interfere with all aspects of your life and lead to depression and poor health. If you’re facing these issues, you’re not alone. Read on to find out more about the research on why people experience chronic pain after knee replacement and what to do if you may have a faulty TKR device.
Research Shows Chronic Pain Is Common After TKR
Many patients who have knee replacement surgery later report dissatisfaction with the procedure. As much as 20% of patients say they are dissatisfied with their results one year after surgery, per The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
One major reason is pain. Between 10% and 34% of knee replacement patients report long-term pain, according to research published in The BMJ. In this study, researchers looked at data from patients reporting their pain outcomes anywhere from three months to five years after surgery.
They found that many people were still in pain by the time their recovery should be optimal. As many as 58% of women and 40% of men take pain medications after knee surgery.
The Consequences of Chronic Knee Pain
Those with chronic pain after surgery can face serious challenges beyond physical discomfort, per EFORT Open Reviews. Chronic pain can also lead to:
- Reduced quality of life
- Poor general health
- Functional limitations
- Pain-related distress
- Social isolation
Researchers say that patients deserve to know the consequences of knee replacement and get a better assessment of the potential positive and negative outcomes.
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A Recalled Knee Implant Device Could Be Causing Your Pain
One reason some patients deal with pain after knee surgery is a faulty knee implant device. Over the past few years, half a dozen medical device manufacturers announced product recalls for knee implant devices. This includes companies such as Zimmer, Exactech, and DePuy, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
As a result, many of these companies now face liability. For instance, all lawsuits filed against Exactech were recently consolidated into a multidistrict litigation action (MDL) in New York. As of October 2022, about 75 lawsuits have been filed, alleging that the company should bear responsibility for defective knee, hip, and ankle implants from several of the company’s product lines.
In recalls issued between 2021 and 2022, Exactech announced that over 80% of the implants it sent to the market since 2004 were likely defective. The packages for Exactech’s devices should be oxygen-tight. However, defects resulted from a packaging issue that oxidized the polyethylene liner in these devices. So, many patients had defective devices implanted and may require monitoring for device failure. They may also require revision surgery to correct the problem.
Signs of a Failing Knee Implant
If you have serious knee pain after surgery, tell your doctor immediately. Patients should seek medical care if they see these signs of a failing knee implant:
- Swelling and stiffness in the joint
- Knee instability
- Reduced mobility in the joint
These symptoms could indicate that your implant is loosening, the components are wearing down, or you have an infection, per Hospital for Special Surgery. Don’t wait to get follow-up care, as these complications can be serious for your life and health.
What to Do if You’re Facing Chronic Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery
Dealing with knee pain after surgery may be a sign of serious complications. If you have a defective implant, you could even have a legal case against the device manufacturer.
To ensure the best possible outcome for your health and any legal options you may have, take the following steps:
Seek Medical Care
As mentioned above, seeing a doctor is crucial when facing ongoing pain after knee surgery. They can run tests to determine why you may be experiencing pain and advise a course of treatment. Also, this provides documentation of your health challenges, which can provide key evidence for a lawsuit if you’re eligible to file one.
Keep Important Documents
Again, evidence is key for any injury or product liability case. Be sure to keep receipts or invoices for out-of-pocket medical expenses. This includes any expenses for travel costs to get to appointments or surgeries.
Get Free Case Review with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers
If you believe you have a defective knee implant, contact us at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers. We can tell you more about your next best steps and if you could be eligible to file a lawsuit against a manufacturer for a recalled knee implant.
Filing a lawsuit may help you recover the costs of any medical treatment you require, as well as pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. We can help you throughout the process and explain your options, so give us a call today.