Tibial Fractures and Loosening Cause DePuy Knee Failure

DePuy Knee Lawsuit News

No amount of medical device revisions will ever change the physics of the way a human being walks, runs and jumps

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - The DePuy knee replacement device has been known to fail for many reasons and some are beyond the device's control. Because the knee joint and the tibia (shin bone) are required to carry a heavier load than any other joint-bone combination in the body, stress occurs that complicates a return to an active life. That is why knees break so often in the first place. The point of the tibia that carries the greatest weight on any one step or landing is where the tibia is inserted into the knee replacement device.

In most cases, the tibia is molded (shaved down) by filing away bone matter much like a wood shop's lathe shapes a baseball bat from a raw piece of wood. This is done so that the tibia will fit into the tibial sleeve component of the DePuy knee replacement device. Shaving away the perfect amount of bone matter is a difficult procedure and surgeons basically just "eyeball it." Shave away too little and the tibia will not fit into the sleeve. Shaving too much will cause the connection to be loose, unstable and wobbly. The latter is nearly always the case and surgeons are told to insert "shims" to make up the space between what tibia remains and the circumference of the sleeve. Glue is then used to fill in the gaps and keep the lower leg from twisting and turning. Shaving away the tibia exponentially reduces the load that the bone can carry and DePuy knee replacement patients are reporting tibial fractures at this high-stress point.

Athletic stress at the tibial base is so high that fractures can occur even in an untapered tibia. Playing sports such as golf or tennis can place a load of two to four times a person's weight with every jump, run or walking step. It is no wonder so many knee replacements have failed when performed for younger active patients. Returning to high-impact activities such as playing tennis or running for sport is next to impossible as the tibial base of an artificial knee will not hold up to such stress. Knee replacement is seldom performed as a solution to return an athlete to their previous ability and knee replacements are performed almost exclusively on senior citizens.

The DePuy Attune knee replacement device cannot return an athlete to their previous condition. I can not think of a single professional athlete where knee replacement was the surgical option of choice. DePuy Attune knee is now marketed mainly to senior citizens to relive their arthritic pain, and not as a solution for an athlete's knee injury. With so many seniors developing osteoarthritis in the knees and living a relatively sedate lifestyle, it would seem like knee replacement would be an ideal solution to relieve the pain, but it is not. It turns out that osteoporosis causes bone weakening subjecting seniors to the same tibial fractures and loosening that plagues athletes with knee replacements. Seniors sometimes report being in more pain post-knee replacement than they were before. The number of claims has risen and DePuy knee lawyers are helping DePuy Attune knee patients with a free consultation.

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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.