Recent, high-profile failures of certain knee replacement devices have resulted in substantial amounts of pain and suffering in patients who have received flawed knee replacement products. The results from these failures can include reductions in mobility, lost wages, mounting medical bills and more.
Duties of Medical Device Manufacturers
The makers of devices including knee replacement implants have a duty to conduct accurate, thorough testing of products prior to taking them to market. Moreover, medical device manufacturers are legally obligated to properly warn physicians and patients about risks revealed through the product testing process. Further, medical device manufacturers, including knee replacement device makers, are charged with the responsibility of conducting post-market monitoring designed to reveal previously unidentified problems and dangers posed by the products. Recent concerns with knee replacement systems including those made by Stryker, Zimmer, Natural Knee System, Scorpio and Smith & Nephew, which have caused many to believe that the testing and approval procedures put into place by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are inadequate when it comes to ensuring public safety.
Common Problems with Knee Replacement Systems
When attempting to understand what can go wrong with certain knee replacement components, it is important to note that such devices need to support a patient’s full body weight while facilitating mobility at the same time. To this end, manufacturers design tibial, femoral and patella elements, which require precision in their design and fabrication, if patients are to have the return to functionality they seek.
Some of the older knee component designs incorporate an adhesive substance as a means to keep key elements in proper place. The problem is that such systems have been characterized by fragmentation of this cement away from the bone. NexGen components, for instance, can be implanted without the aid of an adhesive or cement, whereby the bone simply fuses to the artificial implants. Sadly, devices of this variety have been marked by frequent incidents of joint loosening and other serious failures involving pain, infection, swelling and lasting damage to muscles, joints, bones and nerves. These knee replacement medical device failures have led to a number of knee replacement lawsuits.
Pursuing a Knee Replacements Lawsuit
The failure of a knee replacement system once implanted clearly will result in a whole host of issues and disruptions for the patient including chronic pain, diminished mobility and a need for painful, inconvenient, and costly corrective surgery. Because such large numbers of patients have been affected by such defects, a high volume of knee replacement lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts across the nation. Common claims among plaintiffs in such litigation include:
- Device makers failed to warn of known dangers
- Manufacturers improperly designed, manufactured and marketed dangerous devices
- Warranties, both express and implied were breached by the device makers
- Manufacturers did not conduct sufficient testing to assess safety of products
While every case is different, individuals who have suffered serious harm as a result of a defective knee replacement implant may find themselves able to receive significant financial compensation for things such as:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional disruption
- Punitive damages against device makers
- Lost wages, reduced earning capacity
In addition to securing a financial recovery to assist with the aftermath of a failed knee replacement device, many plaintiffs in these lawsuits are committed to helping hold negligent manufacturers accountable for the harm they have caused and for placing the public welfare in real jeopardy by way of additional damage claims as well.