A growing number of knee implant patients are upset with the medical device manufacturer DePuy for the increasing number of its defective Attune replacement knee devices.
Reports of higher failure rates than expected continue to be sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which reveal an increased number of Attune failures associated with the “de-bonding” (loosening) of the cement border of the main tibial baseplate. This de-bonding separates the device from connected bones, causing painful swelling and inflammation in the surgically affected area which leads to instability, loss of muscular control and other infection-based injuries.
All of these painful byproducts of an Attune knee implant require more medical treatment – usually revision surgeries – to remove and replace the device. Revision surgery is commonly more painful, complicated, and expensive than the initial surgical procedure. This is especially true if the patient has experienced any bone loss. Revision surgery also requires longer, more complex post-operative therapy and longer recovery periods.
Most of these premature failures typically take place from one to two years after the original implant surgery. But some patients have reported failures occurring as soon as six months after the procedure.
A Variety of Symptoms Associated with Attune Knee Failure
Attune Knee implant failure patients usually present with a combination of the following symptoms:
- Instability and/or loosening of the device to connecting bone or tissue
- Unusual swelling
- Constant pain
- Metal “sliver” debris
- A “warm” feeling in the knee
- Failure of the system to “bond” with bone
- Accelerated “wear” within the knee’s components
- Loss of osseointegration (the direct structural and functional connection between living bone and the surface of a load-carrying implant).
The many lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson, corporate parent of its DePuy device manufacturer, allege that its Attune Knee was negligently designed with an unusually smooth metal surface. Due to this defect, medical glue – so vital to the replacement process – cannot bond with it; this, in turn, prevents the replacement prosthetic device from staying securely in place.
Consequently, the medical device comes loose from the patient’s tibia bone, the weight-bearing bone of the lower leg, resulting in extreme pain and limited mobility. This device was designed to last for 12 to 20 years. But an alarming percentage of them begin to fail within one to two years.
Mounting Evidence of DePuy Attune Knee Device Failures
A study was published in the Journal of Knee Surgery in June 2017. In it, researchers found that the cement-to-implant interface involving Attune Knee implants was coming loose. It discovered 15 failures in its control group, but only two of them showed-up on X-ray images. This means that 13 of the failures eluded doctor exams. And the only way they could be detected was through patients’ symptoms and complaints.
Generally, knee replacement surgery usually requires a hospital stay of four to five days and an initial recovery period of six weeks. However, full recovery can take six months to a year. The new joint should then be good for a minimum of 12 years, and up to 85% of the devices can last for 20 years or more.
If your Attune Knee failed, we can assist you in seeking the following damages in an Attune Knee insurance claim or civil lawsuit:
- Past and future medical expenses to treat your failed knee replacement to include: revision surgery, post-operative care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and all expenses related to your recovery
- Past and future pain and suffering caused by your defective Attune Knee, both physical and emotional suffering
- Loss of present and future income (to include any associated benefits that may be part of your employment compensation package)
- Other economic losses associated with your failed Attune Knee replacement, such as hiring people to perform tasks which you would normally perform if the Attune Knee had worked as intended.
- Punitive damages, if appropriate.
The first DePuy Attune Knee lawsuit was filed in Alabama in September, 2017, claiming a significant failure of the fixed bearing tibial base plate. It is not known how many Attune patients may be affected, but medical records appear to show that more than 100,000 patients were implanted with the DePuy Attune Knee, many of them after the FDA’s recall in 2015. If it can be proved that your doctor was aware of the 2015 recall when your surgery was performed, this could also be grounds for a malpractice lawsuit.
If you have been injured by DePuy’s Attune Knee, or any defective knee replacement, you should know that you have legal options. Contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law through our website or by calling 1 (800) 444-5000 to arrange a free case evaluation.