Hip and Knee Replacements Leave Victims Wheelchair-Bound

While many hip and knee replacement lawsuits have been settled over the past few years, thousands of people are still filing defective knee or hip claims. And with an aging boomer population, there is no end in sight.

Bridget, age 58, is a young “baby boomer.” She was looking forward to her retirement years but she has been in a wheelchair since having her knee implantin 2010.

“I had trouble with this DePuy knee right after surgery,” says Bridget. “I couldn’t extend it and a lot of scar tissue built up. My doctor gave me morphine and oxycontin but I still had a lot of pain. I’ve been on painkillers since 2010 and that causes its own set of problems.”

Bridget saw her orthopedic surgeon last month – she is supposed to have her right knee replaced but she is afraid that it will be a defective device and turn out like her left knee. “If the weather changes, my DePuy knee hurts so much I can’t even leave the house,” Bridget says. “When I’m not in my wheelchair, I have a cane to get around and I didn’t use either before the surgery. My surgeon has suggested that I have a revision surgery but I’m afraid of that too.

“I saw something about a DePuy knee recall on TV so I called DePuy. ‘Don’t call us, we will call you,’ someone said. Of course no one called. I wonder if they are putting me off on purpose and now I’m worried about the statute of limitations.

Eliza’s mother, who now has Alzheimer’s disease, has had two knee replacements. The first knee implant was performed about 16 years ago and she started to have problems in the sixth year. “Now her knee is totally disintegrated and she cannot walk, but because she has Alzheimer’s, surgery is not an option,” says Eliza. “Even though she has AZ, she was still able to get around. But her knee would give out quite often and she took a few bad falls as a result. So now she cannot bear weight on that leg and is wheelchair-bound.

Dave’s father had a Stryker hip implant in 2007 – one year before the device was recalled. “Dad’s hip replacement never worked properly: he was always falling down, which made it difficult for Mom to pick him up,” says Dave. “That hip ruined his life. He was confined to a wheelchair and he fell into a deep depression. I remember him saying, ‘I can’t do anything anymore.’ I think he was better off without having a hip replacement. He had nothing to look forward to.”

Dave’s father passed away last year.