DePuy Attune Knee Replacement Systems and Tibial Loosening

DePuy Knee Lawsuit News

Pain and immobility due to tibial loosening is the leading reason patients elect to undergo a second, revision surgery

Monday, April 23, 2018 - In 2012, DePuy Synthes, the medical devices unit of Johnson & Johnson, introduced the DePuy Attune knee replacement system to orthopedic physicians in the United States. Once thought of as a breakthrough medical procedure, DePuy attorneys are now having to respond to an ever-increasing number of complaints and lawsuits from its patients that allege that the knee replacement not only does not perform as promised but also has left them with more leg pain than they had before the surgery. Patients are reporting a lack of mobility, an unstable, wobbling feeling, and an overall loss of strength in the knee joint more than a year after surgery due to a loosening of the device at the point where it was intended to be firmly cemented to the tibia. Patients are experiencing unbearable pain from the shifting and scraping of the device against the bone. Some patients have reported having fractured their tibia from merely trying to walk and others have suffered significant bone loss. In addition, some patients are having to deal with an infection at the point where the device was originally glued to the tibia.

Attorneys for plaintiffs suing DePuy Synthes point to studies such as the one in the Journal of Knee Surgery that cites a dramatic increase in problems associated with the device. Nearly 1000 of the 1500 patients that have reported this problem to the US Food and Drug Administration have elected revision surgery in an attempt to rectify the problem. If an infection has set in or bone deterioration has occurred, such a revision surgery may require removing even more of the tibia and leave the patient with one leg shorter than the other. Marketing representatives from DePuy have acknowledged that tibia loosening is a problem with all knee replacement systems including the DePuy system and that tibia loosening is the leading reason for revision surgery.

It should be noted that the knee joint is the largest joint in the body and carries a full load of a person's weight with every other step one takes. No joint in the body comes under more stress from everyday activity. Tibia loosening can be caused by a person gaining weight and the increase in the load on the knee joint. Other reasons for tibial/device loosening are orthopedic surgeons who improperly aligning the implant causing an improper angle of the upper to lower leg. Lastly, tibial loosening may be caused by the improper cementing of the device to the tibia.

The DePuy knee replacement was marketed as having a 15-20 year useful life and that in most cases a patient's life should return to normal in about a year. Sales reps for the company have had to admit that their initial claims of the device's efficacy may have been overstated. While the device lives up to expectation in over 90% of the cases, that is little consolation to the thousands of people left crippled by a faulty DePuy Attune knee replacement system.

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Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. The Onder Law Firm won $197 million in three talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis in 2016 and other law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.