The Impact of Knee Replacement Recalls
Knee replacement recalls have become a cause for concern in recent years, leading to significant consequences for patients. These faulty devices not only affect mobility but also jeopardize the body’s overall structure. The repercussions can extend beyond posture and walking, causing pain and potential damage to the very areas they are designed to assist.
Understanding Knee Replacement Recalls
Recalls of knee replacements occur due to various factors, such as design flaws, inadequate testing, and unexpected wear. Faulty design is a common issue, where devices may lack proper flexibility or bend in the wrong direction. Some poorly constructed devices have even been known to disintegrate during surgery, leaving fragments inside the body. Ill-fitting replacements also pose problems, as they may not be proportioned correctly, leading to breakage during the installation process.
Subpar knee replacements may also become loose over time. Without adequate long-term testing, manufacturers might be unaware of joint tightness not being sustained, resulting in unstable knees. Similarly, some devices deteriorate gradually, unbeknownst to the company, leading to loose joints. Additionally, packaging issues can compromise the sterility of knee replacements during transportation.
An absurd yet concerning reason for recalls involves mixing up parts, such as left and right components. This confusion during installation can cause severe pain and mobility issues, as the body relies on incorrectly shaped artificial bones.
Noteworthy Knee Replacement Recall Cases
Several companies have been responsible for numerous knee replacement recalls over the past two decades. These cases underscore the importance of exploring alternative options and thoroughly researching products and manufacturers before undergoing knee replacement surgery.
DePuy has a notorious record when it comes to faulty knee technology. Since 2003, they have faced a staggering 477 separate recalls, encompassing a wide range of devices and tools related to knee replacements. In fact, DePuy also recalled nearly 14,000 knee-related tools in 2015 alone.
As the leading global knee replacement company, Zimmer Biomet has experienced 377 separate recalls since 2003. These recalls span various brands and involve tens of thousands of joint components. In 2017, Zimmer Biomet faced a significant recall, removing over 28,000 toxic components from the market.
Though Stryker’s recall numbers are relatively lower, caution is still warranted. Since 2003, 125 of their knee replacement products have been recalled. Notably, Stryker voluntarily recalled their ShapeMatch Cutting Guides, a product intended to assist surgeons in precise bone cutting for knee implants. This recall followed reports of injuries and pain associated with the guides, prompting their removal from the market.
Considerations Before Knee Replacement Surgery
Before committing to a knee replacement procedure, it is crucial to conduct thorough research on the product and the manufacturing company. Avoiding brands with a history of recalls or legal issues is wise. If a doctor strongly advocates for a specific product and is unwilling or unable to consider other brands, seeking a second opinion from a different physician is recommended.
In cases where insurance providers restrict alternative device options, it is essential to explore other possibilities. Discounts or payment assistance programs may be available for other brands, ensuring that desperation does not lead to the implantation of a potentially more damaging device in the long run.
The Consequences of Faulty Knee Replacements
As mentioned earlier, knees play a pivotal role in maintaining the body’s overall structure. Insufficient support in the legs places strain on other areas, forcing individuals to shift weight to alleviate pain. This compensation can result in damage to other parts of the body.
Infection is a grave concern when it comes to faulty joint replacements. Rust or decay in the device can lead to the spread of infection, necessitating immediate treatment. In severe cases, infection may require the removal of leg tissue or even amputation to save a patient’s life.
Another peril associated with defective knee replacements is the formation of blood clots in the lower legs—a potentially fatal condition. Dislodged blood clots can travel through the arteries, causing dangerous blockages in vital organs.
Furthermore, surrounding bone integrity is compromised when knee replacements malfunction. Depending on the nature and location of the device failure, connected bones may fracture, splinter, or wear down.
Recalled Knee Replacements: What Happens Next?
Contrary to automobile recalls, where faulty parts are replaced, medical device recalls, especially those involving implanted devices, do not guarantee automatic replacement by the manufacturing company. Current protocols for addressing medical device malfunctions are inadequate, leaving patients to deal with the consequences.
When a device fails to the extent that it causes additional medical issues, the situation must be treated as any other medical problem. Consultation with a doctor is necessary to determine the appropriate course of action, which may involve surgery to remove or replace the device. Any further damage caused by the faulty device will then be addressed accordingly. It is important to note that the patient is responsible for bearing the medical expenses, in collaboration with their insurance provider.
This is where the expertise of a skilled lawyer becomes invaluable. Patients should not bear the burden of faulty medical devices alone. Lawyers specializing in this area can pursue legal action to recover medical costs and seek compensation for pain and suffering. In cases where device replacement or removal is not possible, a lawyer may secure a substantial lifelong settlement to alleviate future medical burdens.
We are here to help if you or a loved one has experienced complications due to a faulty medical device. Contact Garrity Traina today at (844) 949-2794 or online for a free consultation. Don’t hesitate to take action and protect your rights.
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