July 8, 2014 — Two new studies have raised concern about the safety risks of knee replacements after finding that one-third of the surgeries are unnecessary, and some patients might have fewer complications if they have a partial knee replacement instead.
This week, the Lancet has found that partial knee replacement surgery is safer than a total knee replacement. By removing only parts of the knee affected by osteoarthritis, patients had fewer complications (blood clot, stroke, heart attack, etc.), needed fewer blood transfusions, were less likely to be re-admitted to the hospital, and were less likely to die.
Last month, a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology found that approximately one-third of total knee replacement surgeries were inappropriate because patients had symptoms that were moderate, with little joint damage. Only 44% of surgeries were considered appropriate.
A growing number of people who were implanted with defective knee replacements are filing lawsuits against manufacturers. People who experience problems with a defective knee replacement often must undergo additional surgery. The complications may include chronic pain, loosening of the knee, inflammation, loss of mobility, and more.
Zimmer is facing over 1,000 knee implant lawsuits involving components of the NexGen. The implant was approved through the 510(k) approval process, which allows new devices on the market without requiring safety studies so long as they are “substantially equivalent” to medical devices on the market.
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