The DePuy Attune Knee System is a state-of-the-art, highly technological knee replacement system that has come under fire in recent year for having significant defects. There have been multiple reports of failures sent to the FDA as well as studies that have shown the knee fails early and in most cases of failure comes loose.
The failures in the knee system cause pain, difficulty moving, and a need for revision surgeries. The loosening of the joint can even cause additional injuries to tissue around the joint, which may lead to lasting pain and additional surgeries. People who have suffered because of the Attune knee are now filing lawsuits against DePuy, seeking recognition that the device is faulty and compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering.
What is the DePuy Attune Knee System?
DePuy Synthes is a division and Johnson & Johnson that designs and makes orthopedic and neurological medical products. DePuy is one of the biggest manufacturers of artificial joint systems, which are synthetic components that can be used to replace parts of joints or complete joints. Joint replacement is typically done to reduce pain and increase mobility because of age and wear, arthritis, or other causes.
The DePuy Attune Knee System is a complete, artificial knee joint, and it has been in the news a lot lately because of lawsuits being filed over failures in the system after surgery. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the Attune system was introduced to the market in 2011. According to DePuy it was designed to provide several new benefits for patients.
These include components designed to give more stability to the knee joint, greater range of motion in the knee, reduce stress on the bones, and to be easier to position precisely into the knee joint for each individual patient. The Attune knee is made of polyethylene plastic and a metal alloy of cobalt, chromium, and molybdenum.
Issues with the DePuy Attune Knee
Since surgeries with the Attune Knee System began in 2011 there have been many complaints and reports filed with the FDA over failures in the system. There have also been studies of the outcomes for patients receiving the Attune knee that are troubling. One recent study searched the FDA reports and found there were over 200 reports about failures in the knee. Some of the issues found included:
- Pain when putting weight on the knee.
- Buildup of fluid in the joint.
- Limited range of motion in the knee.
- Loosening of the knee joint.
- Fractures of the device.
- Early wear on the joint.
- A need for early revision, additional surgeries to repair or replace the artificial joint.
The study concluded that the failures in the joint were related to designs in the rotating platform, the fixed bearing, and loosening in the implant-cement interface of the tibial component. Part of the joint is cemented to the tibia bone and this component came loose in many patients. When it comes loose it can cause the joint to become unstable or even to be totally dislocated, which results in significant pain and disability.
Because of these significant failures that can cause pain and suffering, additional revision surgeries, medical costs, additional physical therapy, and other serious consequences, many patients who received the Attune knee from DePuy are now filing lawsuits against the company for failing to warn doctors and patients of the risks of the system.
Early DePuy Attune Knee Lawsuits
The issues with the Attune Knee System have been going on for a few years, but the first lawsuit over it was only filed in the fall of 2017 in the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County. In early 2018 a woman named Joyce Rogers in Mississippi also filed a lawsuit against DePuy. She received the implanted knee system in 2015 at Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian. The device soon failed, causing her pain and instability. She underwent revision surgery the following year.
The lawsuits states that the Rogers suffered because of pain, additional surgery, and medical expenses. It also claims that she and her doctors were unaware that there could be failures and loosening in the knee joint. She is now at risk of needing more surgeries, beyond the revision surgery, because the joint may have caused more serious and long-lasting injuries. The lawsuit accuses DePuy of negligence, design defects, failure to warn of risks, breach of warranty, and fraudulent misrepresentation.
In 2016, yet another victim of the DePuy Attune Knee System filed a lawsuit. The woman from Iowa received the complete knee replacement with Attune in January of 2016. By October of the same year the knee had already failed. She experienced pain, instability, and difficulty walking and had to undergo a revision surgery to replace the knee system. Her suit alleges the company is guilty of failure to warn, breach of warranty, defective design, and negligence.
Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court against DePuy
The DePuy Attune knee replacement system has failed in many patients, but most recently a man in Florida filed a lawsuit over the failure in the West Palm Beach Division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. David Sizemore, from Lecanto, Florida filed the suit and is fighting along with his lawyers to get compensation and recognition from DePuy for the pain, suffering, and expense its failed knee system has caused.
Sizemore experienced significant pain as the joint loosened after surgery. He had to have revision surgery just a few months after the knee system was put in. He also had to undergo additional surgeries to correct injuries that were caused by the loosened joint. In his lawsuit, Sizemore and his lawyers allege that DePuy should have warned him and his doctors about the risks of implanting the artificial joint, that they did not know there were defects that could lead to revision. The lawsuit also mentions the fact that hundreds of other patients are finding their knee systems fail well before they should.
DePuy has a responsibility to patients to provide artificial knees that are not defective in design or manufacture. Unfortunately there have been an inordinate amount of early failures that make it clear the product is defective. Without warning about the defects, patients have suffered. The company may be facing a lot of additional lawsuits, especially if the above cases are effective for the plaintiffs. If you have suffered because of a DePuy artificial knee, find a good lawyer who specializes in medical devices and products.