Knee replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is a common surgical procedure used to reduce pain in patients whose knees have been damaged by arthritis, serious injury, or excessive wear and tear.
Knee replacement surgery could become an option after less invasive knee treatments such as medication or walking supports, have been tried without success. In a total knee replacement procedure, the damaged surfaces of the knee joint are removed and replaced by a prosthetic implant made of metal, plastic, or a combination of the two.
Total knee replacements can function well for up to 20 years, but some patients experience premature failure, which necessitates revision surgery. Knee revision surgeries are typically more painful and invasive that a first-time knee replacement because they require tearing a faulty device that has been cemented into place away from the bone. Sometimes knee implants damage so extensively that a reconstructive surgery is required to completely rebuild the knee before a replacement device can be installed.
DePuy Knee Implant System Failure
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received numerous complaints regarding failure associated with the DePuy Synthes Attune Knee System. Patients are reporting that these devices are failing prematurely, sometimes within only a year or two of implant, due to:
- Loosening of the implant’s tibial component
- Tibial subsidence, in which the implant sinks into softer bone tissue surrounding the knee
- Change in the position of the components.
The Attune system utilizes metal-on-metal components, which can lead to metal hypersensitivity on the part of the patient, which may result in significant functional impairment and aseptic prosthesis failure, according to a 2015 study published in The American Journal of Case Reports. Patients who suffer from metal hypersensitivity after total knee replacement typically require revision surgery.