No one gets a knee replacement unless they really need it.
Knee replacement surgery is a difficult procedure and a lengthy recovery. We do it because we’re already in pain or unable to do the things we want to do.
Usually, a knee replacement comes after lots of discussions with your doctor and evaluating your personal life circumstances, to determine whether it’s the best course of action for you.
But some patients discovered — too late — that a knee replacement has caused them additional problems.
To date, there have been 125 knee replacement device recalls since 2003. These include a Class I recall for the Stryker ShapeMatch Cutting Guide device, which was acknowledged by Stryker to have problems and surgeons had been advised not to use it.
There were several types of injuries that occurred as a result of defective Stryker knee implant devices. Stryker knee and hip implants use metal-on-metal (or MoM) technology. Experts have discovered that the metal ball and metal socket can rub together and become corroded, which deteriorates the implant.
When that happens, it can release tiny metal particles into the bloodstream, causing metallosis, joint dislocation, necrosis, and other injuries. It can also lead to cardiac and neurological issues because a high concentration of toxic metal cobalt and chromium is introduced into the bloodstream.
The reasons why most knee replacement recalls happen are:
The most common signs of failed knee replacement include:
However, a knee replacement patient with a defective device could experience symptoms that seem unrelated—which is why it’s important to watch for these problems, too:
Duracon Unicompartmental Knee lawsuit (2016): Stryker paid a $7.6 million settlement after 15 years of litigation.
Multidistrict litigation (MDL): An MDL was established in New Jersey in 2013 against Stryker and the company settled with 8 plaintiffs for an undisclosed amount.
There’s also an MDL pending in Minnesota, which is being added to the New Jersey lawsuit.
|Device||Number of recalls||Problem||Year|
|ShapeMatch Cutting Guide||7,868||Misalignment resulted in knee implants in the wrong position||2013|
|Scorpio Femoral Components||1,147||Packaging issues affected the devices being maintained in a sterile environment||2014|
|Triathlon Femoral Components||1,147||Packaging issues affected the devices being maintained in a sterile environment||2014|
|MIS Modular Distal Capture Triathlon Instruments||3,444||Parts were coming apart from instruments||2015|
|Modular Handle Triathlon Instruments||12,469||Parts were coming apart from instruments||2016|
|Stryker Orthopaedics Patella Assembly Instruments||2,039||Parts were coming apart from instruments||2016|
If you were injured because of a Stryker knee implant or any other type of defective medical device, you might be entitled to receive damages to compensate you for your medical costs and other expenses.
When a product on the market starts receiving complaints or is discovered in postmarket surveillance to have issues, the company can either remove the product itself or wait until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) steps in on its behalf.
While a mandatory recall can require a company to fix or compensate a consumer for an affected product, sometimes that’s not enough.
Medical malpractice is when a person becomes ill or injured because of a physician or medical provider’s negligence. Common medical malpractice claims include errors while administering anesthesia, failure to properly diagnose a disease or condition, misreading or ignoring test results, unnecessary surgery or other invasive procedure, surgical errors, poor follow-up care, errors in prescribing medication, and a variety of other issues.
There are 3 elements to prove that a doctor or provider could be negligent in a personal injury medical malpractice claim:
For example, in the case of knee implant injuries, a doctor could be negligent if they don’t adequately warn the patient about the risks involved in the procedure, or the long-term risks of having a knee implant.
In a product liability lawsuit, you’d likely be filing a claim against the manufacturer of the item and not the doctor who performed the procedure.
There are 3 types of defects that can lead to a product liability claim:
While these are general product liability concepts, they apply to knee replacement implants and other medical device injuries.
If you were injured by a defective knee replacement device or any other medical device or procedure, you could be entitled to recover damages.
You can file a lawsuit to claim expenses for damages that include:
In addition, punitive damages are sometimes awarded by the court in a case where the defendant’s negligence was malicious or especially egregious in a way that the court thinks warrants punishment. It’s often used as a deterrent to the defendant and similar companies so that the behavior isn’t repeated.
If you’re experiencing symptoms that could be related to a knee implant defect, it’s important to visit a doctor who can provide a diagnosis. You might need to have some testing or other procedures to determine whether the device is failing or has failed.
If possible, it would be best to see a doctor who isn’t the one who performed the implant procedure. A different, unaffiliated doctor could be more likely to provide an unbiased diagnosis with no self-interest.
If your doctor suspects either medical malpractice or a device defect, the next step is to call a personal injury lawyer. These are among the most complex lawsuits to litigate, so you will need a lawyer who is familiar with the legal landscape around these types of cases and who can practice in both state and federal courts.
Your lawyer might encourage you to join an MDL already in process, or you might have your own lawsuit — it will depend on your specific circumstances and how the courts are handling these types of cases when the time comes.