The promise of increased mobility and decreased arthritic pain has made knee and hip replacements popular over the last twenty years. As technologies advance, the replacement surgeries have become easier to perform, the devices offer additional mobility, and the patients need less time to recuperate from the surgery. These three conditions have made hip and knee replacement a desirable alternative to extended pain medication use or the inability to walk. However, there have recently been problems concerning specific hip and knee replacement devices.
An Implied Responsibility
Manufacturers of joint replacement devices have an implied responsibility to test their products and only market those that meet official FDA guidelines. Furthermore, it is their responsibility to inform the public if there are any known side effects from using their device or if there are any problems with the devices that are found at a later date. In recent years there have been many replacement joint recalls, most notable of which has been the Stryker recall which has affected many hip replacement patients.
Most manufacturers will honor their responsibility and make a voluntary recall when a problem is found after-the-fact. Sadly, some of these manufacturers ignore problems, hoping they will disappear. The problems do not disappear, and many more people are hurt due to their negligence.
At this time there are several recalls involving joint replacement devices. The most recent is the Dupuy ASR Hip System. This system has continually failed recipients causing inconceivable pain and the need for a second operation to replace the part. In fact, this system has shown to need replacement entirely within 6 years of the initial operation in nearly 30 percent of all patients. Nine percent of patients see complete device failure within the first year. These figures, compared to industry standards, are simply unacceptable.
Some of the issues surrounding the device include:
• Dislocations of the device requiring medical attention.
• Infections in the joint or surrounding tissue areas.
• Severe inflammation causing pain and immobility.
• Nerve damage causing either pain or numbness.
• Metal shards entering the blood stream causing problems with the thyroid, kidneys, heart or nervous system.
• Pseudo tumors.
• Differences in length of legs causing back problems and pain.
• Bone loss in surrounding areas.
What To Do If You Are Affected
If you have recently had a hip or knee replacement and are suffering from any of these conditions, or if you have had other issues directly related to the use of the joint replacement device, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. If you are currently having medical issues regarding the hip or knee replacement, seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you receive medical care, the quicker you will heal. Once you have stabilized your condition, you should seek legal advice about your case.
You should speak to a personal injury attorney that specializes in medical device injury. They will gladly review your case and determine if you should be part of any of the class-action suits that are currently active, or if you should file an individual claim against the device manufacturer.
Georgina Clatworthy is a legal writer and former editor for a respected legal blog. Steinger, Iscoe and Green are a firm of personal injury attorneys who have handled many claims relating to the Stryker recall. Problems with any joint replacements should be referred immediately to your surgeon after which you should seek legal advice about claiming compensation for your pain and suffering.