DePuy Synthes Attune knee replacements have come under scrutiny as evidence saying the device may have adhesion issues as complaints from patients roll in. There are multiple reasons why hip and knee implants fail, but a major culprit in the malfunction of Attune knees seems to be something technically referred to as “tibial baseplate failure,” or “de-bonding,” This literally means the artificial knee comes unglued from a patient’s lower leg.
The patient may feel the following signs to indicate the DePuy Synthes Attune knee replacement may be unglued and failing: instability in the knee when standing or bearing weight; backwards or sideways motion of the knee which may cause ligaments to become inflamed and damaged; decreased range of motion; heat, may be normal for several months following surgery, but if persistent, may be a warning sign; swelling when the knee lining becomes inflamed, typically causing fluid to build up resulting in swelling; and persistent throbbing pain.
High Rate of Premature Failure
An unusually high rate of premature failure in DePuy Attune knee replacements has been identified in the Journal of Knee Surgery. A review of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database showed 21 reports of tibial loosening at the implant-cement interface in only two months prior to the journal’s report.
When the defective device was removed, some surgeons have revealed that they saw no sign that cement or bone had ever adhered to the implant. When a patient’s knee replacement prematurely fails, painful revision surgery and extensive rehabilitation may be necessary.
National law firm Parker Waichman LLP has extensive experience and success in medical device litigation, including defective knee replacements. The firm’s attorneys are available to answer legal questions from individuals seeking information for a potential lawsuit.
Painful Revision Surgery
Revisions surgery is often more difficult than the initial surgery, especially when bone loss has developed as a result of the implanted device. A typical reason for knee implant failure noted by surgeons who perform revision surgeries, appears to be when the device does not adhere to the bone due to the lack of bonding between the bone and the implant. Some surgeons described the removed metal tibial insert as free from any bond, basically looking the same as it did when it was removed from the sterile packaging and before implantation. There was never any adhesion, and the cement had failed.
Knee Replacement Information
Total knee systems are comprised of several different parts which mimic the anatomy of the knee, the body’s largest joint. It is made up of the lower end of the thighbone (femur), the upper end of the shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella). Cartilage covers the area where these three bones meet, providing protection and reducing friction. Two c-shaped wedges called menisci are located between the femur and the tibia to provide a shock-absorbing cushion.
During total knee replacement, surgeons remove damaged cartilage and bone from the ends of the femur and tibia and replace these parts with metal components. A plastic spacer is then inserted between the two metal components to create a smooth, frictionless surface. In some cases, it is also necessary to replace the patella with a plastic component.
Previous Attune Knee Replacement Issues
In June 2015, the FDA recalled DePuy’s Tibial Articulation Surface Instrument. This is a device used during knee replacement surgery to ensure proper placement of the tibia. A small coil that is part of the instrument could become detached and be left inside the patient. It has been compared to a sponge being left behind in a patient when an incision is closed.
DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and the parent company of DePuy Synthes, has also been involved in litigation concerning hip implants. In December 2016, a federal jury in Dallas, returned a combined verdict of over $1 billion on behalf of six people who suffered serious medical complications due to defective metal-on-metal hip implants.
In spite of these complications, Johnson & Johnson, DePuy Orthopaedics, and DePuy Synthes products continue to be available on the market. The DePuy Synthes Attune knee replacement device has not yet been recalled, nor have any lawsuits been filed to date.
Have You Been Injured by a DePuy Knee Implant Device?
If you or someone you know has sustained injury involving a DePuy knee implant, you may be eligible for valuable compensation. Parker Waichman personal injury law firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. We urge you to contact us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).