What You Need to Know About a DuPuy Attune Implant Failure

Attune Lawsuit & Lawyer Information

Knee surgery replaces damaged knee joints and drastically reduces knee pain to help millions of people lead a more comfortable and independent life. It is estimated that 4.4 million living Americans have had some form of artificial knee implant surgery and the number of knee replacement systems that are implanted in patients is increasing in numbers. As a result, the number of reported complications that are connected with failed implants is increasing as well.

It is not uncommon to hear that knee implants fail and one of them that has received a lot of attention over the last few years is the DuPuy Synthes Attune Knee System. Manufactured by DuPuy Orthopaedics, this knee system has received several reports of patients having complications with this implant during various types of knee surgeries. If you have experienced DuPuy Synthes Attune knee replacement problems, you should know how to identify if your implant has failed and know your legal rights by staying informed on lawsuit information related to these implants.

What is the Attune Knee System?

Patients who undergo knee replacement surgery often require a knee implant. This implant will allow the patient to enjoy an improved range of motion and better stability. Overall, it helps people return to their normal activities so that they can continue to lead a normal life.

As a part of the largest research and development project in the company’s history, DuPuy Synthes introduced the Attune Knee System. This system was designed to improve function through stability and mobility of the knee joint and it was introduced to provide better results than older models of knee replacement systems. When it was introduced to the FDA for premarket approval in 2010, DuPuy Synthes submitted the system to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claiming that the implant rivaled or was substantially equivalent to other knee system devices that were marketed during the same time.

DuPuy Orthopaedics

This company is widely known for its knee and hip replacement systems. As a part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, it offers the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of orthopedic and neuro products and services to include joint reconstruction for knee replacement surgeries.

Although the company is a leader in the medical device manufacturing field, it has been plagued with product recalls and patient lawsuits because of faulty implant designs and complaints from thousands of patients who received implants that caused further debilitating problems.

In 2013, the company recalled components of another knee implant device known as the Limb Preservation System. This system was reported to have premature failure as well as problems with loosening and fracturing. In 2010, DuPuy also recalled several hip devices which also had high failure rates.

Over the last few years, many artificial knee implant devices have been recalled and the reason is that is reported most commonly is that the implant does not attach or adhere to the bone properly. As a result, the failure of the knee implant causes not only significant pain but other serious problems for patients to include:

– Bone loss

– Infection

– Revision surgery

– Extensive rehabilitation

There was a recall issued by the FDA in June 2015 for a device manufactured by Attune called the Knee Tibial Articulation Surface Instrument after an investigation discovered that a small spring coil made of wire, which is used in the range of motion testing of the device during surgery, can become damaged or detached. This would sometimes happen prior to drilling holes for determining the proper tibial location for the implant. As a result, damage or detachment during surgery may allow the coil to remain in the patient if the surgeon does not know that the coil detached.

Common Problems with Knee Implants

It is typical for patients to experience a wide variety of problems after knee implant surgery. Some common ones include:

– Joint pain

– Swelling

– Nerve damage

– Joint instability

– Fractures of the surrounding bone

– Loosening or fracture of the device components

– Misalignment of implant components

– Device dislocation

If you have noticed any of the following symptoms in the months or years after receiving knee implant surgery, it is important to talk to your doctor soon as possible:

– Pain

– Stiffness

– Swelling around the knee joints

– Warmth

– Inflammation and redness

– Clicking and grinding sounds when walking

– Infection

– Decreased mobility

From 2003 to 2013, there was a total of 709 recalls that resulted from flaws and errors in the construction or design of failed implant devices made by the top six knee implant manufacturers in the world. 38% of these recalled knee implant devices belonged to DuPuy Synthes.

Original Replacement vs. Reconstructive or Revision Surgeries

Modern medical technology has advanced in such a way that total knee replacements can function without any problems or symptoms for up to 20 years. Many people have gotten satisfactory results from knee surgery and there are many patients who are happy with their decision to have knee replacement surgery.

On the other hand, there are times when implants fail prematurely and it is likely that the patient will require a painful revision surgery. The decision to undergo knee revision surgery is not easy because these types of surgeries are considered more invasive and painful than a first-time knee replacement. One of the reasons reconstructive or revision surgeries are more complicated and painful is because they usually require breaking the faulty device away from the bone. In other cases, the implant may be required to be cemented into place.

There are times when knee implants can damage the surrounding bone severely. When this occurs, reconstructive surgery is required before a replacement device can be installed. This is often required because the knee has to be completely rebuilt. These types of surgeries are also extremely painful for the patient and they usually have to go through long periods of rehabilitation.

In addition, reconstructive or revision surgeries also have a higher risk of infection because the patient is exposed. Other types of undesirable surgical complications include:

– Excessive bleeding

– Nerve or blood vessel damage

– Deep venous thrombosis

– Pulmonary embolism

DuPuy Synthes Attune Knee Replacement Problems

There have been several complaints from patients who have suffered severe side effects from DuPuy knee implants. Many of them experienced knee implant failure; particularly after having replacement surgery for the entire knee using the DuPuy Synthes Attune Knee System. The most common problem patients have reported are painful knee implant problems that occur after their Attune knee replacement devices fail within months of initial knee surgery. Others have reported premature failure after only a year or two of surgery.

Other reports include loosening of the Attune devices’ tibial base plate which leads to a variety of different complications to include pain, inflammation, infection, and injuries that include muscle or bone damage. Other reports state that these devices also have a loss or lack of bonding to the bone after the device fails which leads up to the patient needing additional surgeries or procedures.

When a knee replacement device prematurely fails, the most common reason (as noted by surgeons who performed reconstructive and revision surgeries) is that the device does not adhere to the bone properly because there is a lack of bonding between the implant and the bone. When this occurs, patients often face painful revision surgery, possible infection, and extensive rehabilitation. In addition, revision surgery is a lot more complicated than someone getting knee surgery for the first time. Complications become even worse when there is bone loss due to a faulty implanted device.

How Do You Know if Your Attune Knee Implant Failed?

If you or a loved one has an Attune implant, you will know it has failed when experiencing the following:

1. Persistent pain: If there is a constant throbbing of pain in your knee when it is in motion, there is a chance you could be suffering from a faulty implant.

2. Loosening or instability: When you stand up or put weight on your knee and you feel instability or your knee moves sideways or backwards in any manner, this may be a sign of a product that has failed. As ligaments become more damaged and inflamed, this condition could grow increasingly worse.

3. Heat or warmth in the knee: It is common to have heat or warmth in the knee for a few months after surgery because this is a normal sensation. However, if this heat or warmth continues to return, the cause could be an Attune knee implant that has failed.

4. Unusual swelling: Another indication that something could be failing with your knee implant is if there is a constant sensation of swelling. When the knee lining becomes inflamed, fluid will begin to build up which causes the swelling sensation.

The most common device failures listed in FDA complaints about Attune knee implant devices include:

– Components worn

– Loss or failure to bond

– Loss of osseointegration

– Fracture

– Metal shedding debris

Synthes Attune Lawsuit Information

If you or a loved one has had a DuPuy Attune knee implant replacement surgery and experienced problems or failures, an Attune lawsuit can provide you with some relief. It is not a good idea to wait for further advice from DuPuy Attune or the FDA before exploring your legal rights. You may be able to seek compensation for damages to include pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more.