Knee Replacements are some of the most common surgeries. In fact, surgeons perform over 600,000 knee replacements yearly, just in the United States alone. So when doctors perform hundreds of these surgeries every single day, you’d think things would be pretty flawless.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, many knee replacement surgeries go wrong. And with more and more people facing knee problems, more and more knee replacement lawsuits are surfacing. Either surgeons are neglectful while operating, or devices have flaws. Negligence or manufacturing issues surrounding knee replacements can cause many serious complications. These include multiple corrective surgeries or permanent damage.
If you’ve undergone knee replacement surgery and suffered due to medical negligence, give us a call. We can discuss your case and explore your options for filing a knee replacement lawsuit. Contact us! And in the meantime, keep reading for more information regarding knee replacement lawsuits.
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A Story Of Neglect
Matthew Standley of Florida is far too familiar what enduring a botched knee replacement surgery is like. Matthew faced a fair share of knee issues because of his active role in sports. He always had several minor surgeries performed on his knee; and recovered without complications each time. His last knee surgery before moving to Florida, however, resulted in a bone infection. He was given medications, and all was clear again.
Fast forward to several years when Matthew, yet again, found himself experiencing knee pain. The osteopathic orthopedic surgeon suggested a total knee replacement. After the surgery, Matthew developed another bone infection. The medication the surgeon prescribed offered no help. In fact, the infection progressed so rapidly, his leg had to be amputated by emergency physicians.
Here’s how the surgeon was neglectful:
- Guidelines suggest against total knee replacements in patients with a history of bone infection. This surgeon continued otherwise
- The surgeon did not administer antibiotics before the surgery, which is a routine procedure
Surgical errors can be horrific. Matthew filed a knee replacement lawsuit and was awarded $11 million.
Why Get A Knee Replacement?
Knee replacements can sometimes be a controversial subject. But the truth of the matter is, for a lot of people, these are very necessary procedures. Sometimes, their only option. Knee replacement surgery is most commonly done to relieve severe pain that may be caused by osteoarthritis. Obesity can cause further progression of osteoarthritis because there is more weight the knees must carry. The chances of needing a knee replacement are 8 times higher in people with a BMI greater than 30. It becomes 28 times higher in patients with a BMI of over 35.
Other reasons for knee replacement surgery include:
- Sports injuries
- Repeated falls
- Emergency trauma
Patients who must resort to knee replacements usually have trouble walking, standing, and climbing stairs.
How Artificial Knee Replacement Devices Work
The knee is a hinge joint. It works kind of like our doors do. Well, sort of.
A healthy knee is one that can bend easily and rotate slightly, without pain. It’s formed where our thigh bone and shin bone meet. That’s femur and tibia, respectively, for our medically savvy folks. Then there’s our kneecap (the patella) which covers it all. For the intents and purposes of a knee replacement, these three are the ones affected.
Manufacturers make three components that can act in replacement of the femur, tibia, and patella. Today, these components are made using various materials including plastics, metals, and ceramics. If we’re talking about more than a century ago though, knee hinges were made of ivory!
For most people, a knee replacement provides a lot of pain relief. It also improves the quality of life since patients are able to enjoy improved and even pain-free mobility. And most knee replacements are built to last 15 years!
Unfortunately, many patients suffer from faulty devices that don’t last nearly as long.
When we hear the words medical malpractice, we often think of a surgeon acting neglectfully. And while oftentimes that is the case (like with Matthew’s story), sometimes it happens because of a manufacturing issue. Sometimes, it’s not the surgeon at all. Rather, it’s the artificial knee being put in. Here are some of the reasons patients file a knee replacement lawsuit:
- The manufacturer markets the device as safe, when they know otherwise
- The device worked incorrectly, because of manufacturing defects or design flaws
- The manufacturer failed to inform consumers the risks or potential harm of the device
Knee Replacement Implant Recalls
Over the last several years, many knee replacement devices have been recalled. Here are some knee replacement device manufacturers who are the subjects of recalls (either initiated by the FDA or the manufacturer themselves):
|Knee Replacement Manufacturer||Amount Of Recalls|
|Smith & Nephew||15|
Reasons For The Recalls
Those are some astounding numbers up there. We know. Recalls can occur due to minor issues such as packaging problems. They can also be more extreme and can cause serious injury. Here are some of the reasons a knee replacement device may warrant a recall:
Faulty Design. Devices with a faulty design are prone to break. Or manufacturers make them in a way that’s difficult to handle/use.
Prone To Loosening. Many patients undergo corrective knee replacement surgery because knee replacements became loose.
Short Life. The replacements did not nearly last as long as expected.
Knee Replacement Corrective Surgery
If a knee replacement device becomes faulty, or a patient suffers serious complications, a corrective surgery may be required. Perhaps even multiple revision surgeries may be necessary. Corrective surgeries require surgeons to remove the failed knee replacement device and replace it with a new one. Surgeons will further repair and reconstruct damaged tissue.
Corrective surgeries are not only costly, they’re also painful. These are more invasive procedures and can pose higher health risks for patients. Recovery times are also lengthier.
How A Knee Replacement Attorney Can Help
Navigating through any medical malpractice case can be difficult. Throw in product liability and manufacturers, and you’ll probably find yourself overwhelmed and full of questions. An experienced attorney can hold device manufacturers accountable for injuries and complications. Patients who have suffered damages due to a faulty knee replacement device may be eligible for compensation. This may include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
We understand how medical negligence can have a huge impact on your life. It can also affect your loved ones. That’s why we fight so hard for your case, and for your justice.
At Hampton & King, our lawyers are experienced in evaluating each unique case. We can determine if you’re eligible for compensation.
If you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice and want to file for a knee replacement lawsuit, please reach out to us. Our team of professional lawyers can help answer your questions. Go ahead and give us a call. The consultation is on us.