On September 13, 2017, a lawsuit was filed against DePuy, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, claiming that a defect in its Attune Knee System caused significant failure of the fixed bearing tibial base plate in the DePuy Attune cemented knee. Similar failures in the device have caused substantial injury and required patients to undergo revision surgeries.
The Attune Knee System is designed to be a knee replacement for those who require knee reconstruction. Although the replacement device has been used in thousands of surgeries since its inception, recent reports suggest that the Attune Knee System contains a design defect that can cause early device failure and injury.
In a recent article published in the Journal of Knee Surgery, nine prominent orthopedic surgeons reported that they have encountered an unusually high-rate of premature failures of the Attune Knee System. It appears that such failures may be caused by a shift in the tibial base plate within the system. The research presented suggests that, due to the smoothness of the tibial component, the cement used to hold the component in place does not adhere properly, causing slippage and knee destabilization.
This is not the first time that a problem with the Attune knee replacement device has been identified. In 2015, DePuy initiated a recall of the Attune Articulation Surface component due to a design defect. This recall stated that there was “potential for the Balseal, a small wire spring coil located on the post feature of the ATTUNE Knee Tibial Articulation Surface Instruments used in trialing, to become damaged and disassociate (come off). If the Balseal is separated from the post, it has the potential to enter the surgical site and be left in the patient if the surgeon is unaware of the disassociation.”
Symptoms of Attune Knee Replacement Failure
Patients who have undergone knee replacement surgery using the Attune system should be mindful of the following symptoms, as they may indicate failure of the device.
- Unusual swelling: inflammation within the knee lining causes a buildup of fluid, resulting in the sensation of swelling
- Instability: atypical movement in any manner while bearing weight on the knee
- Pain: persistent pain when in motion
- Decreased range of motion: a lack of range of motion post-surgery and therapy typical of knee replacement or correction surgery patients
In many cases, the only fix for a premature failure of the Attune Knee System is for patients to undergo a revision surgery that removes and replaces the implant. This surgery is often painful and invasive.
Attune Patients Have Legal Options
If you or a loved has suffered severe pain, swelling or destabilization of the knee, and has previously undergone a knee replacement using the Attune Knee System, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your suffering. Contact the medical device liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos for additional information or to schedule a free consultation.