The Atlanta law firm of Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC recently filed a lawsuit against Exactech and the company’s Optetrak knee replacement system.
The lawsuit, filed September 27, is the first Optetrak lawsuit filed in Georgia and one of the first to be brought in the U.S. The plaintiff alleges that they suffered severe and permanent injuries as a result of the Optetrak knee replacement system, and continues to require ongoing medical care and rehabilitation. They also claim that Exactech designed, manufactured and sold a defective knee replacement system, and concealed the risks associated with the device from consumers as well as medical professionals.
What is the Exactech Optetrak Knee Replacement System?
The Optetrak Revision System became available on the market in 1995 as a newer alternative to the Total Condylar prosthesis and the Insall Burstein posterostabilized prosthesis, and proposed several innovations to the tibial insert and the design of the femoral trochlea.
The innovations were intended to improve the previous systems; however, the results of a 25-month follow-up revealed less than satisfactory results. Among the 106 patients whose implants were reviewed:
- 17 patients were disappointed with their implant.
- 25 knees were described as painful and those patients required regular painkillers.
- 25 prostheses appeared to be evolving toward tibial implant loosening.
- 24 patients had developed pain while sitting with bent knees or while descending stairs.
Most knee replacements should provide a patient with many years of improved function with few problems, but some implants are prone to failure. Besides knee failure and other serious complications, the Exactech Optetrak system is also believed to cause a condition known as aseptic lymphocyte-dominated vasculitis-associatied lesions (ALVAL) along with metallosis, a serious condition that occurs when the components of metal-on-metal implants, including the Optetrak system, rub against one another and result in the shedding and build-up of metal debris in the soft tissues of the body.