Hip replacement manufacturers recall some, but not all, of the defective knee implants they sell. And even when the manufacturer does recall a faulty knee replacement, the company does not offer to pay compensation to patients implanted with the faulty device.
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Many Knee Replacement Injuries and Recalls Are Avoidable – One Story
In the 1990s, many knee replacement manufacturers began using components made of a plastic called UHMW polyethylene. To sterilize the plastic components, the manufacturers used a process involving gamma radiation in the presence of air. They then packed the devices and sent them out for sale.
The manufacturers soon learned that exposing the plastic knee implant components to radiation “in air” caused them to become brittle and wear out faster. However, instead of recalling the knee replacements with these faulty plastic components, the manufactures just changed the sterilization process for new knee replacements. The result was that many knee replacement devices with the defective plastic parts remained for sale or in hospital inventories and surgeons continued to implant them in unsuspecting patients.
Shortly thereafter, matters got worse. It was soon learned that the longer the plastic knee implant components sat on the shelf and were exposed to the air, the worse they got.
In a study of 75 Stryker Duracon unicompartmental knee replacements, it was learned that 51% of plastic components that sat on the shelf for an extended period of time promptly failed once they were surgically implanted in patients. The average time from implant to failure for these poor patients was only 18 months, and the patients had to undergo painful and risky surgeries to replace the defective components.
Many, if not all, of these implant failures could have been avoided by a Stryker knee replacement recall when Stryker learned that radiation sterilization “in air” compromised polyethylene components.
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If you were injured by a knee replacement made by Stryker Corporation or Zimmer, call us toll-free at 888-767-6565, or fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page and one of our lawyers will contact you.