What is the Depuy Attune System?

The DePuy Attune System is a knee replacement implant that is made up of several components:

  • Attune Gradius Curve: This component is made to work with the femur and tibia. It helps minimize unnatural sliding.
  • Glideright Articulation: This aspect deals with the interaction between the kneecap and the femur.
  • Sofcam Contact: The Sofcam component helps stabilize the knee when walking.
  • Logiclock Tibial Base: This component is attached to the tibia and is essential for stability. It comes in different sizes and offerings to match the femoral size.
  • AOX Polyethylene Insert: The spacer is made of proprietary material marketed as offering excellent wear resistance and long-term stability.

Reasons for Knee Replacement Surgery

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that more than 600,000 knee replacements are performed every year in the United States alone. Knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a procedure done after non-surgical treatments no longer manage the pain.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, these are the most common causes of knee pain that require knee replacements:

  • Osteoarthritis: As people get older, the cartilage in the knee wears away. This results in bones painfully rubbing against one another.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This is a disease in which inflammation damages the cartilage in joints. Eventually, inflammation can lead to cartilage loss.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis: After knee surgery, damage can occur around the joint and worsen over time.

During knee replacement surgery, cartilage is removed before metal components are added to the surface of the joint. The kneecap is also typically resurfaced with plastic material. A spacer is then inserted between the metal components to provide an easier surface for the material to glide.

Knee Replacement Surgeries Linked to Complications

More than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed every year in the United States alone, and some patients are experiencing the complications listed below.

Reasons for Knee Revision Lawsuit

  • Loosening or fracture of an implanted knee device
  • Chronic swelling and pain even months after the initial surgery
  • Instability and stiffness resulting in difficulty walking
  • Post fracture, breakage, or premature wear of the polyethylene components
  • Weakening of the bones around the implant, also known as osteolysis
  • Deep joint or periprosthetic injection requiring follow up surgery
  • Poor wound healing
  • Reduced range of motion or stiffness in the knee
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Bone fracture during surgery
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels

Who is Eligible to File a Lawsuit

Patients who have received a defective hip implant in recent years and experienced unexpected complications or device failure before the expected life of the implant, which is usually between 10 and 15 years.

Who is liable?

  • DePuy Synthes Attune© Knee System
  • Zimmer© NexGen© CR-Flex
  • Biomet Vanguard© CR
  • Smith & Nephew Journey BCS©, Oxinium Genesis II©, Profix II©, Journey Uni Tibial©
  • Stryker Triathlon© Total Knee System, Scorpio CR© and PS© components, Unicompartmental Knee System, Duracon© Total Knee

Faulty Knee Replacement Lawsuits

In response to serious complications from defective knee implants, many patients have filed knee replacement lawsuits against manufacturers of the devices. Generally, these lawsuits claim the device’s manufacturer failed to properly design, manufacture or market its device. In many qualified retainers, victims alleged the manufacturer neglected to make sure the knee replacement device was safe and would perform the way the manufacturer claimed it would.

Often, multiple replacement procedures – accompanied by painful recovery – are necessary to correct the original knee replacement surgery. Hundreds of injured plaintiffs have filed lawsuits claiming their devices did not work as promised. So far, well over 600 such civil suits have been filed against NexGen manufacturer Zimmer, seeking compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, home health care, loss of income, pain, suffering, and temporary or permanent disability.

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against negligent manufacturers such as DePuy (a division of Johnson & Johnson), Smith & Nephew, Stryker, Wright Medical, and Zimmer Biomet. Today, most of the outstanding lawsuits are against Zimmer Biomet, consolidated into multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Plaintiffs seek legal damages related to medical bills, pain and suffering related to their faulty knee implants.

February 2002

Sulzer Medica agreed to pay a $1 billion settlement to resolve over 4,000 hip and knee implant lawsuits.

2007

DePuy was ordered to issue recalls on their P.F.C. knee systems. The recall was issued due to a defect in the knee replacement joint that would cause the artificial joints to quickly wear out and eventually break.

2009

The P.F.C. Sigma knee system was forced to recall over a femoral component that could cause severe side effects to patients.

2011

Federal lawsuits against Zimmer NexGen knee devices were consolidated into MDL 2272 for administrative purposes

2014

DePuy issued three recalls for three different knee replacement devices. The first recall was issued for the 100 S-ROM Noiles hinges due to packaging defects and safety concerns related to sterility. Later in 2014, DePuy’s Attune Intuition knee system issued two recalls for one component that had a high risk of cracking and another component that could fracture and leave parts of the device in a patient.

2015

Thousands of DePuy’s Attune knee systems were pulled off the market due to a surgical tool that was reportedly breaking and leaving pieces inside patients’ surgical sites. There was a wire spring coil in the Attune Knee Tibial Articulation Surface Instruments that was prone to damage. Doctors were unaware that this component was breaking and thousands of patients were at risk of complications. The Class II Device Recall dealt with more than 3,000 units.

2017

DePuy was forced to recall their Sigma HP PFJ cemented trochlear implant. This component caused a high rate of knee replacement revision surgery. Patients have reported that these defective parts may become dislocated and misaligned.

2017

The first lawsuit against Attune Knee Replacement manufacturer DePuy Synthes was filed in Alabama and more lawsuits have followed.

2018

Zimmer announced a settlement will be paid to the remaining lawsuits. The settlement amount was kept confidential.

February 2018

plaintiffs and defendants reached a settlement in a lawsuit over the NexGe knee implant. The settlement amount was kept confidential in the MDL 2272.

February 2019

Plaintiffs involved in Zimmer NexGen knee implant lawsuits agreed to participate in a settlement program that will leave a few qualified retainers unresolved.

References

FDA. “Class 2 Device Recall ATTUNE” Articulation Surface”, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Accessed April 4, 2019.

FDA. “MAUDE Adverse Event Report: DEPUY ORTHOPAEDICS, INC. ATTUNE BAL SIZER DISTRACTOR KNEE INSTRUMENT/TRIAL”, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Accessed April 4, 2019.

Depuy Synthes. “ATTUNE® Knee System”, Johnson & Johnson. Accessed April 4, 2019.

FDA. “Summary of Safety and Effectiveness Attune Total Knee DePuy Orthopaedlics”, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Accessed April 4, 2019.

Jared R. H. Foran, MD. “Total Knee Replacement”, OrthoInfo. Accessed April 4, 2019.

The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Authors: Patterson DC1, Grelsamer R, Bronson MJ, Moucha CS, From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mount Sinai Health System, New York, NY, “Lawsuits After Primary and Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Malpractice Claims Analysis”

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