DePuy Knee Replacement for Senior Citizens

DePuy Knee Lawsuit News

Knee replacement surgery can be the wrong treatment for senior citizens

Monday, April 2, 2018 - Knee replacement surgery was originally designed to help individuals that suffered traumatic knee injuries, the most frequent cause of which are motor vehicle accidents and sports-related injuries. Over time, however, the market for knee replacements has evolved and is now dominated by senior citizens. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that the average age of a knee replacement patient is around 70 years old. According to the National Institute of health, 3.8% of all the total knee replacements are performed on seniors over age 85 years of age. Most elderly knee replacement patients require the use of a cane or walker for the remainder of their lives and must continue to take anti-inflammatory and anti-pain medication. Seniors with knee pain generally suffer from Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Osteoarthritis affects most senior citizens to one degree or another and the pain increases over the course of a lifetime of routine walking or a prior knee injury that may have caused the knee joint to deteriorate. Cartledge protecting the knee joint wears out, and the resultant, "bone on bone" contact causes severe pain. The condition is degenerative and will not resolve itself on its own. Synovial fluid builds up around the knee joint to cushion the bones causing inflammation and swelling and prevents the knee from operating properly, decreasing the knee's range of motion.

In the past, an elderly person's arthritic knee condition was treated with anti-inflammatory and pain medication. It was also common for knee swelling to be treated by "draining the water" from the knee or performing surgery to remove debris such as torn cartilage that may be floating within the knee area and obstructing its flexibility. Arthroscopic knee surgery was seen as a breakthrough medical procedure to remove or repair torn or worn out cartilage or ligaments, however, such this surgery is rare today. During arthroscopic surgery, a small camera-like device and surgical tools enter the knee through a tiny incision and repair the knee. Pain, swelling, and bruising are minimized because there is no incision to heal. Arthroscopic surgery has been replaced by total knee replacement surgery, removing the knee joint entirely along with some leg bone, (femur and tibia) on either side and replacing it with a prosthetic knee.

Overall, elderly individuals are seen as ideal candidates for knee replacement surgery since they are generally less physically active. In most instances, the only physical activity they would need to return to is golf and most are able to do just that. Senior citizens are at risk, nonetheless, from a host of injuries that a faulty artificial knee can cause such as slipping tripping and falling because their artificial knee buckled, loosened, or locked up in an inopportune time. Senior citizens that have been fallen or tripped due to a defective knee replacement are filing DePuy knee lawsuits against DePuy Synthesis, the maker of the DePuy Attune knee replacement system and member of the Johnson & Johnson medical devices group for their negligence in the marketing, design, and packaging of the DePuy knee replacement device.

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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.