How to Tell If your Knee Replacement Is Failing

Knee replacement surgery ranks among the most successful form of orthopedic procedures of this age. The procedure can greatly transform the life of a person with severe arthritis and improve their quality of life. A patient can undergo revision surgery when a knee replacement fails to function properly. The revision is often more complex compared to original knee replacement surgery since it involves the removal of tightly fitted implant and takes a much longer time to heal. A successful operative procedure requires proper planning, use of specialized equipment and application of advanced surgical skills. Knee replacement system failure is currently a subject of great interest owing to a high number of lawsuits filed against system manufacturers.

Those with failed knee replacement systems generally experience mild sores and constant pain, muscle ache, blood clots, mobility challenges, Eczema, crystalline arthropathy and bone damage arising from fracture or infection. In certain situations, pieces of the prosthetic device may come off and spread tiny particles around the joint area. In this event, the knee replacement becomes defunct; the doctor may quickly suggest a revision or corrective surgery to remedy the situation. The revision may involve total or partial removal of the components forming the original prosthesis. The components that support the knee include the patella, femur and tibia. Specialized implants and bone grafts may also be used in complicated cases and during bone rebuilding.

Studies indicate that knee replacements are usually designed to last as long as 15 to 20 years. However, the system may fail much earlier due to various complications. As a result, you need to prepare for any such eventuality. According to the HSS musculoskeletal health and medical training center, you can tell if the knee implant is failing if you experience the following signs:

Wear, tear and loosening – these indicators of failure often arise when joint surfaces rub against one another forcing the detached surfaces to wear down and ultimately loosen up.

Infection – infection is a serious cause of concern since it can lead to device failure and a host of cascading illnesses down the line. The bacterium often latches on the implants before spreading out causing even more complications.

Stiffness – when signs of stiffness become evident, the patient immediately losses range of motion. The other signs that will creep up as a result of stiffness include pain and functional deficit.

Fracture – fractures usually affect the areas around the knee implant. The fracture may cause serious instability, pain and immobility. To rectify this problem, the doctor may recommend a revision surgery.

Instability – if the soft tissue surrounding the knee is weakened, it becomes very difficult for it to support everyday functions like standing and walking. The instability will come from improper placement of knee implants.

Revision of a total knee replacement procedure is a crucial recourse for a knee that is showing signs of failure. The complex procedure requires proper planning and execution. During the pre-surgery preparation, the doctor will conduct laboratory tests, X-rays and a range of scanning procedures, including Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor may be forced to remove the troubled implant and request for bone grafts to be used to replace the lost bone mass. Before the knee replacement implant is returned, a number of tools or fixtures, including metal wedges and screws will be used to strengthen the bone. Post-operative care for the knee is important in ensuring successful treatment and minimal post-operative complications.

Common complications associated with knee revision include deep vein thrombosis, rapid loss of bone tissue, infection and bone fracture. The care consists of the issuance of pain medication, physical therapy and blood management. Most patients who undergo knee replacement procedure record excellent results. Research has shown that only 20% of knee replacement procedures return negative results. Patients with the Depuy Attune knee replacement problems such as depuy implant tibial loosening are free to seek legal assistance from lawyers. The FDA approved implant has been used in over 400,000 surgical procedures, which make it one of the most popular knee kits in the industry. The report of early stage Depuy implant tibial loosening is largely attributed to the problem of debonding, a situation that occurs when the glue holding the implant capitulates.

If you are a victim of a failed Depuy Attune knee implant seek the proper recourse, a lawyer can help you get compensation. You, however, need to provide billing and statements of past medical expenses, loss of earnings and pre-operative and post operative pain and suffering after repeat procedure. The medical statement should also include the costs of future treatments like rehabilitation, therapy and corrective surgery. Since the expenses and damages are significant, verdicts and settlements for knee replacement have gone as high as 6 figures. The value of the lawsuit will also depend on the unique aspects of your case. During consultation, the lawyer will discuss all these issues.

Mark Alvarado is a San Francisco based entrepreneur and blogger. His company runs an information resource website that covers various topics from travel and business to new treatment technologies.

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