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Defective Knee Implants

defective knee implants

At the annual American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons ("AAOS") conference last year in New Orleans, data was presented by a group of knee surgeons from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who said that design problems with the Zimmer NexGen knee replacement are the likely cause of abnormally high rates of loosening, often requiring additional revision surgery.

The orthopedic surgeons looked at the results of 108 knee replacement surgeries involving the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral knee replacement system. That system uses a component that attaches to the bottom of the thigh bone without applying traditional cement to glue it in place. The study found that, after only two years, nearly 9% of patients required revision surgery and 36% of patients showed signs of the replacement knee loosening. These problems were not related to either the surgeon, the surgical approach or the type of patient receiving the knee implant. The problems, researchers concluded, were a result of a potential design defect in Zimmer's implant.

The New York Times recently reported that surgeons have attempted to bring these issues to Zimmer's attention, but their complaints have fallen on deaf ears. (Click Here to Read the Article ). Since the study was released, several prominent surgeons have called for the company to issue a general recall of their knee replacement implants; however, rather than removing these products from the market, Zimmer has issued statements standing behind the safety of the NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral component.

Zimmer has since faced significant political pressure to disclose information about how it handles complaints about possible product flaws from its medical consultants. Last year, Senator Charles E. Grassley wrote a letter requesting that the company disclose its methods of tracking the long-term performance of its artificial hips and knees. (Click Here to Read the Article)

Products liability lawyers have begun investigating potential Zimmer NexGen knee replacement lawsuits on behalf of individuals who have experienced complications, such as loosening of the knee implant or revision surgery, as a result of a the implant's potential design defect.

A Class 2 recall was issued related to certain Zimmer knee replacement components, including the MIS Stemmed Tibial Component and specific lots of the NexGen LPS Femoral Component and NexGen LPS Flex Gender Femoral Component. Click Here to Read the Article.

Patients implanted with a Zimmer Knee Implant recalled component have filed complaints alleging:
  • Knee Replacement Failure
  • Loosening of Replacement Knees
  • Need for Revision Surgery
  • Other Knee Complications and Knee Pain

Knee implants should be designed to last a significant amount of time. Victims of osteoarthritis and other medical conditions requiring knee replacement surgery certainly expect that the implants will resolve problems rather than lead to new ones. Unfortunately, there has recently been evidence of defective and poorly designed knee implants being used in large numbers. Symptoms start with pain and eventually lead to further surgeries to deal with the defective implant. The lasting consequences have yet to be seen.

Knee replacement, or knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to alleviate debilitating pain caused by meniscus tears, cartilage defects, ligament tears and osteoarthritis (in elderly patients). The procedure strengthens the knee and expands its range of motion by replacing the weight-bearing surfaces of the joint with metal and plastic prosthetics shaped to allow continued motion.

Knee replacement is also often prescribed for other maladies including but not limited to rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. (Click Here for More Information About These and Other Knee Problems). In patients with severe deformity from trauma, advanced rheumatoid arthritis, or long standing osteoarthritis, the surgery may be more complicated and carry greater risk. Osteoporosis does not typically cause knee pain, deformity, or inflammation and therefore would not be cause for a knee replacement.

Knee replacement surgery is typically followed by substantial postoperative pain and vigorous physical rehabilitation. Recovery may take 6 weeks or longer and patients may need to use mobility aids (e.g. walking frames, canes, crutches) in order to regain their preoperative mobility.

Contact our Miami Defective Knee Implant Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Friedman Rodman & Frank, P.A. is a products liability/tort litigation law firm with extensive experience in knee replacement implant lawsuits resulting from these types of injuries. Friedman Rodman & Frank, P.A. handle cases all over the country. If you know someone who has suffered from these injuries, contact us today at 1-877-448-8585 for a free and confidential consultation or fill out our online form.

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