Symptoms of a Defective Knee Replacement Implant

By Osborne & Francis
July 18, 2024

Braun knee replacement devices, such as the Aesculap Vega Total Knee Replacement Systems, have known design flaws that can cause them to deteriorate. Previous iterations of Braun knee replacement implants followed a metal-on-metal design, which also had serious sustainability issues. To rectify this issue, medical device companies simply coated them and marketed them to consumers as an improved and safe alternative. In reality, the coating prevented the bone cement from attaching properly. As a result, knee replacement implants are loosening and causing serious injuries.

Exachtech knee replacement devices are also having issues, for a different reason. Many Exactech knee replacement devices were packaged in defective vacuum bags that allowed oxygen to leak into the implants, causing them to prematurely deteriorate. Recipients of defective knee replacement devices have filed product liability lawsuits to claim damages related to injuries caused by these faulty devices. 

Recipients of knee replacement implants should be aware of the signs that their device is malfunctioning. If you have received a defective knee replacement device, you may be entitled to recover compensation in a product liability lawsuit. The personal injury lawyers of Osborne & Francis are available to provide legal insight and evaluate your damages. You can reach us at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando to schedule a time for your free case evaluation.

Severe Pain Can Impact Your Quality of Life

As the defective knee replacements loosen, the parts can stray from where they belong. This puts pressure on nearby nerves and causes significant pain. Chronic pain can be debilitating, with repercussions for your career, relationships, and quality of life. For example, if your knee replacement implant starts causing you pain, you may be unable to tolerate working on your feet for long stretches of time as a nurse or construction worker. Not only are you faced with the prospect of lost wages and changing jobs, but you may also be forced to give up your hobbies or rely on others for maintaining your home.

Swelling and Inflammation Can Indicate Infection

While some swelling and redness are to be expected after a knee replacement surgery, those symptoms should resolve. If they get worse, that may be a sign that you have an infection. Knee replacement recipients are at an increased risk for infection beyond the typical risk associated with any surgery. 

While infection rates for knee replacements are generally low, defective knee replacements can allow harmful bacteria to grow on the metal components. The human body’s immune system has greater difficulty fighting infections that occur in foreign objects. An infection can compromise the function of your knee replacement device, in addition to causing significant pain.

Joint Instability and/or Stiffness Are Signs of a Defective Knee Replacement

Knee replacement implants are intended to improve your mobility, not limit it further. One of the tell-tale signs of a defective knee replacement device is that the joint feels too loose or too stiff. Joints may become loose or even dislocated as a result of their defect. In the case of the faulty Braun knee replacement devices, the coating on the metal components prevents the bone cement from properly bonding the device to the existing bone structure, which has a destabilizing effect. In addition to mobility issues, joint instability can greatly increase a person’s risk of a slip-and-fall accident, causing further injury.

Limited Range of Motion and Decreased Mobility

Many people undergo knee replacements to improve their quality of life or regain their active lifestyle. When a defective knee replacement device begins to loosen, it often has the opposite effect. In fact, Exactech issued a recall after their devices began causing pain, structural failure of the device, and loss of mobility due to instability or a limited range of motion. A limited range of motion can prevent you from walking normal distances, climbing stairs, or simply navigating your daily tasks without pain. If you can’t fully extend your knee or constantly feel like it’s about to give out after healing from your knee replacement surgery, you should consult your doctor.

Steps to Take if You’re Concerned Your Knee Replacement is Defective

If you have experienced any of the signs of a malfunctioning knee replacement device, or you have one of the defective models but have yet to notice any issues, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Your health should take precedence. It is also important to have a record of treatment to demonstrate that you attempted to minimize the amount of compensation you would need. 

Too often, insurance companies try to claim that a plaintiff failed to mitigate their damages as a way to undermine their claim, and this is a good way to preempt that accusation. You should form a habit of record-keeping, including all receipts related to your treatment. This can be anything from the Uber receipt from your trip to the physical therapist to a pay stub showing you had to miss work to recover from your surgery.

The next item on your agenda should be to hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You should specifically look for a product liability lawyer with experience negotiating defective medical device claims, as these can differ from standard product liability lawsuits. A qualified defective medical device attorney will be able to investigate your claim, gather the evidence necessary to file a product liability claim, and negotiate for the compensation you deserve for your damages.

Types of Damages You Can Recover from a Defective Knee Replacement

An important thing to note about defective knee implants is that they usually require revision surgery to correct the issue. That means that in addition to undergoing a second surgery to extricate the defective model and replace it with a working knee replacement device, you will be starting again from square one to rehabilitate your knee. 

In addition to the costs you have already incurred with your original knee replacement surgery, you may now be responsible for a second round of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These costs can potentially be reimbursed in a product liability lawsuit if the makers of the defective knee replacement products are found liable.

Damages that are intended to directly offset the plaintiff’s costs are called compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are divided into economic and non-economic damages. Plaintiffs can use receipts and other documentation to show the monetary value to claim economic damages. Non-economic damages provide plaintiffs with compensation for their intangible losses, which are evaluated subjectively.

Examples of Damages in a Defective Knee Replacement Implant Lawsuit:

Medical costs, including:

  • Revision surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Medication 
  • Hospital stays
  • Lab tests
  • Imaging 
  • Mobility aids
  • Home modifications

Job-related losses, including:

  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Job retraining
  • Missed promotions

Pain and suffering

Loss of quality of life

Why Should I Choose Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?

As award-winning mass tort lawyers, we understand the stakes of filing a defective knee replacement implant lawsuit. You do not have to take on this burden alone. At Osborne & Francis, we will negotiate fiercely on your behalf, protect your rights, and communicate our progress to you throughout the process.

The product liability lawyers of Osborne & Francis have ample experience in defective medical device litigation, including both defective knee and hip replacement implants. We have a solid record of recovering maximum compensation for our injured clients. You can trust our team to stand up to negligent medical device companies and their insurance carriers in order to secure a fair settlement.

Contact Osborne and Francis ASAP If Your Knee Replacement Implant is Causing Unwanted Side Effects

If you have received a defective knee replacement implant, you don’t have to suffer in silence. At Osborne & Francis, we know that taking legal action can seem daunting, but we want to reassure you that holding the makers of defective medical devices accountable for their negligence is well within your rights. 

As your personal injury lawyers, we will work to ensure that your rights are protected, critical deadlines are met, and your settlement reflects the magnitude of your losses. Our team has experience taking claims to court to fight for maximum compensation for our injured clients, which can be an advantage in negotiations.

Osborne & Francis has built our reputation on offering unparalleled support and high-quality service. You can reach us at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation with our experienced team. We look forward to helping you recover compensation in a knee replacement lawsuit while you focus on healing.

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