Knee replacement surgery, or knee arthroplasty, is the most popular replacement surgery in the United States. It can be performed as a total or partial knee replacement and generally consists of the replacement of damaged or diseased joint surfaces of the knee with metal or plastic components.
Most people who undergo the procedure do so to relieve debilitating pain for which drug treatment and physical therapy did not provide adequate relief. The principal causes of the pain for which knee replacement surgery is sought are:
- Meniscus tears
- Ligament tears
- Degenerative arthritis (usually osteoarthritis)
- Cartilage defects
While most patients who undergo a knee replacement procedure gain flexibility, agility, and reduced pain, it is considered major surgery and it has its drawbacks and complications.
One major potential complication takes place when the implant or one of its components comes loose or separates from the bone. There are several possible reasons for this, including sterilization procedures that weaken the components, and fastening cement that improperly binds to the implant components material or to the bone.
Other potential complications include the use of the wrong device resulting in legs of unequal length and/or accelerated wear and tear of the implant. Accelerated wear can result in premature accumulation of tiny debris particles that can loosen the prosthesis and damage the surrounding bone.
In many cases in which these complications arise, potentially risky revision total knee arthroplasty is required. Also known as revision surgery, it involves replacing the implant with a new one. It is expensive and usually requires painful and lengthy physical therapy. And in addition to a renewed risk of infection, outcomes for this type of surgery are often not as favorable as for the first-time surgeries because the bone tends to be weaker and supporting ligaments may be damaged.
If you suspect that your prosthetic knee may be defective or was not properly fitted, or if you've undergone revision surgery, you may be entitled to compensation. A qualified defective medical device or medical malpractice attorney can evaluate your case and help you understand your legal options.
No longer accepting cases involving Stryker Knee Implants