Knee Replacement Lawsuits | When Knee Surgeries Go Wrong

Knee replacements are some of the most common surgeries, and the lawsuits associated with them are common too. 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 mistakes would be kept to a minimum.

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.

Man holding his knee and grimacing in pain.

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
  • Gout
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Chronic knee pain
  • Emergency trauma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Other knee trauma
  • Degenerative joint disease.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis

Patients with 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. 

Faulty Devices

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 a patient may file a knee replacement lawsuit:

  • Medical malpractice: If a patient believes that their surgeon or hospital was negligent, they may file a malpractice lawsuit.
  • Device recalls: If a knee replacement device is recalled by the manufacturer, patients may choose to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for any harm caused by the device.

  • Infections: If a patient develops a serious infection after knee replacement surgery, they may file a lawsuit against the hospital or surgeon for negligence.

  • Nerve or vascular injury: Knee replacement surgery can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels, leading to permanent disability or amputation.

  • Misrepresentation: If a patient was not properly informed of the risks and benefits of the surgery by the surgeon, they may file a lawsuit for misrepresentation.

  • False advertisement: The manufacturer markets the device as safe, when they know otherwise, or they fail to inform consumers of the risks or potential harm of the device.
  • Loss of mobility or function: If a patient’s knee replacement device causes them to lose mobility or function in their knee, they may file a lawsuit to seek compensation for their damages.

Knee Replacement Implant Recalls

Over the last several years, many knee replacement devices have been recalled. Here are some relevant knee replacement device manufacturers. They’re the subjects of recalls initiated by the FDA (or the manufacturer themselves):

Knee Replacement Manufacturer Amount Of Recalls
DePuy Synthes 485
Zimmer Biomet 355
Stryker 125
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 your knee replacement device becomes faulty, or you suffer serious complications, you may need a corrective surgery. Perhaps even multiple revision surgeries. 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. 

Woman is overwhelmed by knee replacement injury.

How A Knee Replacement Attorney Can Help

Navigating through any medical malpractice case can be difficult. But throw in product liability and manufacturers? 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:

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. 

Knee Surgery Lawsuit Quick Answers

Can you sue a doctor for a bad knee replacement?

If your doctor gave you substandard medical care that resulted in an injury, in this case by a bad knee replacement – you may be able to sue. If it was medical malpractice and you can clearly show that, you probably have a case, so you may be able to sue and get compensated for your injury.

How much is a knee replacement lawsuit worth?

Your knee replacement lawsuit’s worth depends on the specific details of your case, and numbers vary for these cases. That said, the largest knee replacement lawsuit settlement was $1 billion. This settlement was for 4,000 hip and knee implant cases. You can see the average settlement value below.

What is the average settlement for a knee injury?

For knee injuries, the average settlement is a bit under $60,000 (that includes inflammation, contusions and lacerations). The median is just under $9,000.

Can you sue a doctor for a botched knee surgery?

If your doctor gave you substandard medical care that resulted in a serious injury, in this case by a bad knee surgery – you can probably sue. If it was medical malpractice and you can show that, you likely have a case.

What is the most common problem after knee replacement surgery?

Pain is probably the most common problem after knee surgery. Pain from swelling, pain caused by rejection of the implant, and pain from fractures or infection.

What is the most serious complication of a knee joint replacement?

There are a few serious complications associated with knee joint replacements, blood clots being one of the most serious. Blood clots can cause very serious problems, even death.

Is a full knee replacement a major surgery?

Yes. Knee replacements are major surgeries. Doctors typically recommend them only if other treatment options have failed. (Or other options are not an option for whatever reason.)