Joint replacement surgery, whether it is for a hip, knee, or ankle, is usually necessary when the joint is worn or damaged, resulting in loss of mobility and chronic pain, even when resting. Other less invasive treatments are usually tried before resorting to joint replacement. Conditions that can cause joint damage include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteonecrosis. Athletic, accidental, or occupational injuries are common precursors to needing joint replacement.
When pain persists, mobility is affected, sleep is interrupted, and everyday activities become difficult or impossible, replacing a joint can be a huge factor in improving quality of life. As a result, orthopedic surgeons perform more than 450,000 hip replacements each year in the United States, almost 800,000 knee replacements, and only several hundred total ankle replacements.
Signs of a Defective Hip Implant, Knee Implant, or Ankle Implant
- New or worsening pain
- Inability to bear weight
- Clicking, grinding, popping, or other noises
- Osteolysis, or bone degeneration
- Premature wear or device failure
- Revision surgery
Any of these outcomes following joint replacement is cause for concern and when it requires revision surgery, it poses additional risk to the patient.
Exactech Recalls Knee and Ankle Inserts and Liners
Joint replacement products manufacturer Exactech has recalled their polyethylene inserts for knee and ankle replacements because of possible degradation of the polymer construction. Since 1994 hundreds of thousands of their knee and ankle inserts or liners have been implanted and could be involved in the recalls.
Multiple Hip Replacement Recalls
Makers of hip replacement devices have become embroiled in lawsuits filed by people who have suffered severe complications from their devices. Exactech has phased out their Connexion GXL hip liner and will no longer be manufacturing it in the United States. Smith & Nephew has recalled multiple models of their hip systems due to patients who have suffered serious complications requiring revision surgery. Manufacturer Stryker has had multiple implants recalled due to unexpected complications. And Zimmer Biomet, the largest hip implant manufacturer in the U.S. recalled multiple devices that experienced failure.
These manufacturers have faced multiple lawsuits as a result of the recalled products.