Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery involves replacing an injured or diseased joint with an implant to relieve pain and improve movement. However, some knee implants can cause complications and fail early.

The knee is the largest, most complex joint in the body. It is also the most stressed. When the knee joint is damaged, people can experience pain and decreased range of motion. This can make it difficult to perform daily tasks like standing, climbing stairs or walking. In cases like these, a doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery. Knee replacement surgery, also called arthroplasty, involves replacing the damaged weight-bearing parts of the knee joint with an artificial implant called a prosthesis.

The first knee replacement surgery was done in 1968. Since then, more advanced surgical techniques and implants have made this surgery one of the most successful procedures in medicine. In 2010, almost 700,000 people had knee replacement surgery, and this number is projected to grow each year. There are several reasons why someone might need to have knee replacement surgery. The most common reason is arthritis that damages the cartilage and bones in the joint.

Some common knee problems that might necessitate surgery include:

Osteoarthritis is age-related wear and tear on the knee joint and usually occurs in people older than 50.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes the immune system to attack the membranes in the knee and creates damage and cartilage wear.
Traumatic arthritis results from a serious knee injury (fracture, ligament damage, meniscus tear). This weakens the joint.
Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a condition that affects teenagers and young adults. The bones in the knee become soft, causing the bone and cartilage to wear down. This usually resolves during adulthood, but in some cases the wear on the bone is extensive and arthritis sets in.
Abnormal formation or alignment, sometimes called being “knock-kneed” or “bow-legged,” creates high stress on joint and causes abnormal wear.

While the majority of people experience an improvement in range of motion and quality of life from knee replacement surgery, some people may experience complications such as infection or loosening of the implant. Loosening can occur if the wrong implant is used or if the prosthesis is faulty. Manufacturers have recalled defective knee implants because of loosening. Many people who have had these implants and suffered problems have chosen to file lawsuits. Some companies involved in these suits or recalls include Zimmer, Stryker and Smith & Nephew.
If you or a loved one has had problems after knee replacement, Contact us today for a free legal case consultation and evaluation. Joel A. Nash, Esq. (216) 691-3000