Unfortunately, a knee replacement doesn’t always resolve knee pain forever. Some people face knee replacement failure. The signs of a failed implant or surgery can include:
- Bone fracture
- Knee instability or implant loosening
- Decreased joint function
If you have any of these signs of knee replacement failure, you should see your doctor immediately. They can recommend the next best course of action, such as revision surgery. They can also tell you if your knee implant was part of a manufacturer recall.
Why Do Knee Replacements Fail?
Most knee replacements will last around 15-20 years, depending on other health factors, per University of Utah Health. However, there is a 20% failure rate for knee replacements, according to BMJ Case Reports.
A knee replacement may fail for several reasons. A total knee replacement (TKR) could fail over time as a natural and anticipated outcome of the surgery. The components of the knee implant device may wear and loosen over many years, for instance.
Certain personal factors can also contribute to knee replacement failure. Doing high-impact activities or carrying extra body weight can put pressure on the implant. However, some knee replacement failures happen prematurely for other reasons, including failures on the part of the implant manufacturers.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Recalled Implants May Cause Knee Replacement Failure
Unfortunately, several manufacturers have issued knee replacement implant recalls over the last few years. These implants failed to perform as intended after surgery. They may have defects that could make them more fragile and susceptible to failure. These could include design, manufacturing, packaging, or other flaws.
A few recent knee replacement product recalls include:
- DePuy’s Sigma implants (recalled in 2016 and 2017)
- Zimmer-Biomet’s implant components (recalled in 2017)
- Exactech’s OPTETRAK® and TRULIANT® implant components (recalled in 2021 and 2022)
These recalls have affected thousands of knee implant devices. All of the above companies are facing liability lawsuits due to the health complications affected patients have faced.
Failed Packaging in Exactech’s OPTETRAK® and TRULIANT® Knee Systems
Most recently, medical device manufacturer Exactech announced several recalls notifying consumers that its OPTETRAK® and TRULIANT® knee systems could be defective. These knee replacement devices contain a polyethylene component that must not be exposed to oxygen during storage. However, over 140,000 of these devices were recalled due to oxidation from insufficient packaging.
Defective devices could show signs of premature loosening or even crack in the body. Exactech says that patients with these devices may require monitoring from a doctor to observe the knee replacement’s potential for failure. Many people have already had a failed knee replacement due to these defects.
The manufacturer says it will cover patients’ out-of-pocket costs related to these health complications, such as medical deductibles and copays or travel costs to a hospital. However, many patients have also filed lawsuits against Exactech to seek additional compensation and hold the company accountable. Recently, about 75 lawsuits were organized into a multidistrict litigation action (MDL), according to Reuters.
Revision Surgery Comes With Major Costs and Other Health Challenges
When a knee replacement fails, the patient may require revision surgery. Unfortunately, these surgeries can often be challenging to execute and costly for the patient, per Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine.
They may also lead to less-than-ideal outcomes. Research shows revision surgery tends to have a higher failure rate than primary TKR surgery. So, when patients have to undergo revision surgery prematurely, this can lead to additional costs and poorer long-term health outcomes than if their original implant had succeeded.
You May Be Able to File a Lawsuit if Your Knee Replacement Failed Due to a Defect
A knee replacement can fail naturally over time as part of an expected surgery outcome. However, some knee implants fail soon after a patient has surgery. This can be due to a defective knee implant. If you’re in this situation, you could have legal options.
To determine if your implant was part of the recent Exactech recall, you can search the company’s recall database. You may find your implant’s serial number in your health records. Your doctor can help you locate this information if necessary.
Get a Free Consultation with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
A product liability lawyer from our team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you determine if your case qualifies for legal action. We can identify if your implant is part of any recent manufacturer recalls and then help you join an existing mass tort or class action lawsuit.
A knee replacement failure can be painful and cause serious challenges in your life and career. Through a lawsuit, you can seek damages for your medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. Contact us today to get started.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form