Artificial knee implants are a popular way for many people with mobility issues due to injuries or medical conditions such as osteoarthritis to regain their ability to enjoy active and healthy lifestyles. DePuy is one of the leaders in the industry, generating over $923 million in prosthetic knee sales in the year 2010 alone. Its high flex knee implants come with a laundry list of complications, however, and many patients have found much too late that the risks far outweighed their benefits. The Chicago knee implant defect attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are helping many of these patients recover the compensation they require to pay for medical bills and expenses brought on because of these defective implants.
DePuy is a Prominent Member of the Implant Industry
With a 22.7% share of the knee implant market, DePuy is the second largest manufacturer of artificial knees and creates and promotes numerous hip implants as well. It offers numerous knee implants to treat a variety of injuries and to offer patients options for varied levels of desired mobility. As technology has progressed, implant recipients are finding that they are able to achieve higher levels of natural movement, but this has come at a cost for some. Following are the three primary types of knee implants.
- Fixed Bearing Implants— these implants provide the least amount of risk and DePuy asserts that over 99.6% of fixed bearing implant recipients require no revisionary surgery or replacement within the first five years. The bearing in these devices remains fixed, meaning patients are unable to move or achieve any range of motion.
- Rotating Platform Implants— a rotating platform knee implant allows patients to mimic more natural movement of the knee with a rotating bearing that moves in the same manner a natural knee might. DePuy advertises that these implants are subject to up to 94% less wear due to the rotating platform when compared to fixed bearing implants.
- High Flexion Implants— marketed primarily to individuals who participate in sports or other recreational activities which are motivated by clear fitness goals, these implants provide flexion of up to 155 degrees and will flex during all major movements, such as when a person kneels, sits, squats or lifts. The marketed benefit of these implants is the return of the patient to his or her physical condition prior to injury or the development of a medical condition that limited the movement of the knee.
DePuy Sold Implants without FDA Approval
In January of 2012, it was announced that DePuy would be pulling numerous knee implant devices off of the market voluntarily, but later revealed that this was because the company had never received approval to market the devices in the first place. FDA approval is usually touted as synonymous with product safety, as the product needs to be exhibited as safe through numerous tests and clinical trials. In recent history, there have been ways for many medical device manufacturers to gain this approval with very little data if their devices are similar to those which have already received approval in the past.
The complaints lodged against DePuy over its implants include the claim that the implants provided decreased range of motion, shortened or lengthened the leg, resulted in the fracture of the femur or the tibia, the implant wore down prematurely or the implant sunk into soft bone tissue. High flexion implants have been even more problematic because more bone is removed during the implantation of a high flexion device than normal. If the device fails and requires revision, the patient suffers even greater bone loss during the revision procedure.
Data has also revealed that the high flexion devices have often failed to provide the stability that DePuy claimed they would and design flaws in the devices have resulted in excessive wear and tear along with joint problems. The FDA also issued a Class I recall of a component used in multiple knee implant systems when it was discovered that the device was linked to fractures, knee infections and bone loss that could necessitate the amputation of the limb or lead to death.
If you received a DePuy implant and have suffered from complications or the device has failed prematurely, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is a leading personal injury firm that represents countless clients who have been injured due to the negligence of large medical device manufacturers. Our knowledge of all applicable laws and history of success will offer you the best chances of recovering the maximum amount of compensation the law allows.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our award winning Chicago knee implant defect attorneys, who specialize in cases similar to your own. If you are unable to meet with us at one of our conveniently located offices, we are more than happy to travel to you. Once we have reviewed the details of your claim, we will cover all of your legal options with you so that you understand exactly what you can expect if you pursue a lawsuit. We work solely on a contingency fee basis, so you are guaranteed that if we are unable able recover damages on your behalf, our services will come at no cost to you.