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Attune Knee Replacement Defects

The medical device liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos discuss recent occurrences of early failure of tibial components within DePuy Synthes’ Attune Total Knee Arthroplasty System.

Surgeons across the country rely on the Attune Knee System—manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics—as a replacement knee device during their surgeries. While the replacement device has been used in countless surgeries since its market release, recent reports suggest that the allegedly defective Attune Knee System has the potential to cause injury to patients, due to the inadequate design of the tibial base plate.

What is The Attune Knee System?

The Attune Knee System is one of the most widely used knee replacement devices on the market, having been used during thousands of knee replacement surgeries since its market release. The device is designed to serve as a replacement for those who require knee reconstruction. The Attune knee system is intended to provide patients with increased stability and a better range of motion after surgery.

Yet, despite its popularity among surgeons, patient attorneys now allege that the device’s design is defective—an issue which has led patients to suffer severe pain and additional replacement surgeries. According to Orthopedic Design and Technology, the tibial base plate component of the Attune System was designed to be too smooth to function properly within the knee, preventing it from adequately binding with the with the tibial component. The report suggests it is this lack of binding that can cause the base plate to shift out of place in the system and for the entire knee to become destabilized.

Can DePuy’s Attune Cause Injury?

Recent reports suggest that the Attune Knee System’s unusually high-rate of premature failures can be attributed to the deboning of the tibial implant cement, possibly caused by the lack of friction the cement had with the surface of the base plate. Surgeons claimed that this cement—typically used to hold an implant in place—did not adhere adequately to the tibial component within the Attune Knee System, causing that component of the knee to loosen, thus destabilizing the entire system.

In an attempt to address the defects, DePuy has released a texturized base plate component labeled the Attune S+. The new component uses microblast technology to coarsen the surface of the tibial base plate which, the company claims, will enhance cement fixation between the plate and the tibial component, and ultimately prevent the device from shifting.

Symptoms of a Defective Attune Knee Replacement

Patients that have had a defective Attune Knee Replacement implant may experience the following symptoms:

  • 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

Patients who experience a premature failure of their Attune Knee System often must undergo a revision surgery to remove and replace the implant. This surgery is often more invasive and painful than the original.

What are your legal options?

If you or a loved has suffered severe pain in their knee, and had previously undergone a knee replacement that may have used the Attune Knee System, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your suffering and revision surgery. Contact the medical device liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos for additional information or a free consultation.