If current rates hold steady, by 2030 over 3,000,000 knee replacement surgeries will be performed annually in America. Currently, over 600,000 people receive total knee replacements each year in the US, many recipients of which facing a long, painful healing process and the burden of complications.
Side effects from these types of surgeries can have many causes. Some problems are to be expected following nearly all surgeries, but many of the reported complaints of knee replacement patients go beyond the normal wear and tear. In some cases, knee implant defects are to blame for adverse side effects and in fact, knee replacement manufacturers frequently recall devices known to cause a multitude of issues. Such is the case with many popular Zimmer NexGen Knee Replacement devices used across the US.
The most common knee replacement side effects reported are:
Pain: Even in successful knee replacement procedures, the process is painful. Patients spend between 3-5 weeks after surgery with limited motion, typically taking heavy pain medications. The rehabilitation process for this type of surgery is long, usually months, and is reported to be quite excruciating.
Infection: Knee replacement recipients are usually equipped with drains running from the knee outside the skin to drain fluid immediately following surgery. These drains are highly susceptible to infection and if spread, infections can wreak havoc on the surgery results and in extreme cases result in loss of motion or amputation.
Limited Motion: While many knee replacement patients find the surgery actually restores motion to otherwise arthritic joints, some find themselves hindered by stiff, brittle knee joints following surgery. The cause of such limitations is hard to determine but can include improper installation of the device, shifting of the device, and a body’s defense mechanisms “rejecting” the implant.
Swelling: Nearly all knee replacement patients experience at least some swelling immediately following surgery. Some, however, find their knees swollen for months and even years after surgery. Swollen joints are tender and unsightly and many must undergo additional surgeries to alleviate their symptoms.
Blood Clots: Though relatively rare, blood clots can form after a major surgery such as a knee replacement. The likelihood of a clot increases with the number of synthetic devices implanted in the body and can be impacted by the skill level of the orthopedic surgeon involved.
Treatment for Knee Replacement Side Effects
Unfortunately, there are few treatment options for knee replacement surgery patients. In some instances such as infections or swelling, patients can take prescription medication for a time to clear up the problem.
Other complications from surgery may lead to additional knee replacement revision surgeries. Specially trained orthopedic surgeons are sometimes required to fully remove the knee replacement and replace it with a new model. These surgeries are long and delicate and require extensive knowledge or the human knee structure. It is often difficult to get the knee bone to accept a new implant and additional attachment devices such as screws and pins must be added. Revision surgeries for knee replacement patients is more common than in other surgeries, hovering somewhere around 30% overall.
What to do if You’ve Experienced Side Effects from Knee Replacement Surgery
The first thing you should do if you’ve had trouble following a knee replacement surgery is contact a lawyer in your area. Experienced attorneys like The Firm of Banafsheh, Danesh, and Javid have years of practice battling medical corporations in court to secure damages for their clients. If you believe you may have a claim against a surgeon, knee replacement manufacturer, or an insurance company, you need legal representation as soon as possible.
It’s important never to accept an initial settlement offer from an insurance provider. These offers are known to be low and inadequate to cover the long term costs associated with continued knee replacement side effects and revision surgeries. Your rights as a patient deserve protecting, but the insurance companies are most interested in protecting their time and bottom lines.
Defective knee replacement surgery patients have won hundreds of cases across the country for damages resulting from their procedures. From recalled devices to improperly performed surgery, if something or someone is responsible for your negative side effects, they may be responsible for paying your medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. Call BD&J today for a free consultation.