Knee replacement surgery is a common surgical procedure in the United States undergone by many each year. According to the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), knee replacement surgeries have been on the rise. As of 2020, there has been over two million knee and replacement surgeries performed. This number is projected to continue rising in upcoming years.
While some of the surgeries will be done without any risk, other cases of knee replacement surgery can cause serious complications that may require remedial surgery. If you or a loved one has undergone knee replacement surgery and suffered complications as a result, you may be wondering if you have any legal options available to you. The answer depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
You may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the knee replacement device if the device was defective in some way. Alternatively, you may be able to sue the surgeon or hospital who performed the surgery if they were negligent in some way.
The best way to find out if you have a case is to speak with an experienced knee replacement lawyer. An attorney will be able to review your case and let you know what your legal options are. If you do have a case, an attorney can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
What is Knee Surgery?
A knee replacement, or knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that often affects people over the age of 50. The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and stiffness in the knee.
In a knee replacement surgery, the surgeon will remove the damaged cartilage and bone from your knee joint and replace it with artificial materials. These artificial materials can be made from metal alloys, plastic or ceramic. Knee replacement surgery is usually done when other treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, and weight loss, have failed to relieve the pain from osteoarthritis.
When is Knee Surgery Necessary?
The knee is a complex joint that has several different parts and can be damaged in many different ways. Knee surgery is often necessary when the knee joint becomes injured and cannot move properly. Numerous types of injuries can lead to knee surgery, including:
Torn cartilage: This is a common injury in athletes. The knee is surrounded by ligaments, which create stability around the joint. These ligaments can become stretched or torn during injury, leading to instability and pain in the area. Although cartilage tears are more common in contact sports, they can also occur after a sudden twisting movement.
Tendonitis: Tendons are rope-like fibers that connect muscle to bone. The inflammation, pain, and swelling caused by tendonitis can be very painful. This condition is often seen in athletes who play contact sports or participate in repetitive movements such as running or jumping.
Patellar tendonitis: An inflammation of the tendon on the back of the knee. It can be painful and lead to a snapping or popping noise when weight is put on the knee.
Patella instability: The patellar tendon can become loose or loose enough that the kneecap may be able to dislocate. This is called patella instability.
Meniscus tears: Injuries to the meniscus can also result in patella instability.
Patellar tendon rupture: A tear in the tendon could cause the kneecap to dislocate.
Arthritis: This is the most common disabling condition. It is an inflammation of the joint that worsens with time and can result in pain, swelling, stiffness, redness, and loss of function in the area.
Stress fractures: This condition occurs when bones are unable to withstand weight or pressure from within. Symptoms include severe pain on one side of the body due to a broken bone.
Loss of balance: Symptoms of loss of balance may include dizziness, a sense of vertigo, unsteadiness, and falling or stumbling. This may lead to injuries like broken bones or concussions.
Why Are Knee Replacement Surgeries Becoming So Popular?
Knee replacement surgeries are becoming increasingly popular, especially among older adults. According to a study published in the Journal of the National Library of Medicine, the high prevalence of arthritis, the growing demand for increased mobility, and the success of joint replacement surgery over the recent decades have resulted in an estimated 7 million individuals living with artificial hips and knees in the United States.
There are many reasons why people may opt for knee replacement surgery. For many, it is a way to relieve pain and improve their quality of life. Knee replacement surgery can also help people regain mobility and independence. In some cases, knee replacement surgery may be necessary to treat an injury or condition that has not responded to other forms of treatment.
What are the Common Complications during Knee Surgery?
Knee surgery is generally considered to be safe, but there can be complications. The most common complications during knee surgery include:
- Infection: This is the most common complication after any surgery. The risk of infection can be reduced by taking antibiotics before and after the surgery.
- Blood clots: Blood clots can form in the leg veins after surgery and can travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. This is a serious condition that can be fatal. To prevent this, you will be given blood thinners after surgery.
- Nerve damage: The nerves around the knee can be damaged during surgery. This may cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg.
- Joint stiffness: The knee may be stiff and difficult to move after surgery. Physical therapy can help reduce stiffness.
- Loose implants: The artificial parts of the knee joint can become loose over time which may require revision surgery to fix.
If you have experienced any of these complications after knee surgery, you may be entitled to compensation through a knee replacement lawsuit. Contact a knee replacement lawyer today to learn more about your legal options.
Who Is At Fault for Injuries During Knee Surgery?
Patient injury during a knee replacement surgery is a serious and often painful issue that needs to be addressed. The party at fault for your injuries will depend on the specifics of what happened during your knee replacement surgery. If your surgeon was negligent in their care, then they may be held liable.
The surgeon may be at fault if they made mistakes during the process, such as not properly cutting away some of the damaged tissue or not putting in the right implants.
However, if your implant was defective, then the manufacturer may be held liable. An experienced knee replacement lawyer can help you determine who is at fault and how to proceed with your case.
When Can You Sue for a Botched Knee Replacement Surgery?
To sue for medical malpractice, there must be proof that the doctor acted negligently. This means that they did not provide the standard of care that a reasonable doctor would have under the same circumstances. If it can be proven that the doctor was negligent, then you may be able to recover damages for your injuries.
There are many different ways in which knee replacement surgery can go wrong. The surgeon could make an error when cutting the bone or putting in the artificial joint. They could also fail to properly position the implant, which can cause pain and mobility problems down the road. If any of these errors occur, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice.
It is important to note that not all bad outcomes from knee replacement surgery are due to medical malpractice. There are many risks associated with any surgery, and sometimes things just go wrong despite the best efforts of the surgeon. To have a successful medical malpractice claim, you will need to prove that the doctor’s negligence caused your injuries.
If you think you may have a case, you might decide to speak with a knee replacement lawyer. They will be able to review your case and let you know if you have a valid claim. If you do, they can help you file a lawsuit and fight for the compensation you deserve.
There are other times when a surgery may go wrong due to defective products or faulty knee replacement products. If you or a loved one has been injured due to defective products or faulty knee replacement products, consider speaking with a product liability attorney or a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options.
An attorney can help you appraise the situation. If he/she feels that your case is a medical malpractice matter, they will advise you on the documents and evidence that should be adduced to win the case. There are times when the liability can be a blend of medical malpractice and product liability. An attorney can help you assess the potential damages and prepare a formidable case on both fronts.
How To Determine If You Have a Knee Replacement Surgery Case
Knee replacement surgery is a surgical procedure that replaces the knee joint with an artificial device. It is performed to relieve pain and restore function when the joint has become severely damaged by arthritis or injury.
When one undergoes a knee replacement surgery they do so to alleviate pain and restore function. However, there are times when even after surgery you will still be in pain. Some symptoms determine whether you can institute a lawsuit against the hospital and doctor, these include:
- The severity of your knee pain, how long you have been experiencing it and if the pain has not subsided but instead increased.
- Visible deformity in your knee. If the surgery has left you with a bent knee then this may be grounds for action.
- Walking with a limp that you previously didn’t have before the surgery can also institute legal action.
- Unable to walk after undergoing knee replacement surgery.
You might consider consulting with a lawyer who specializes in knee replacement surgery lawsuits. A lawyer will be able to help you understand the strength of your case and what kind of compensation you may be entitled to.
Are There Prominent Knee Replacement Surgery Cases?
There have been a few well-known cases involving knee replacement surgery. One of the most famous involved Sulzer Orthopedics Inc. The company paid a staggering $1 billion settlement to victims who had bought defective products from the company.
Sulzer Orthopedics Inc. had supplied artificial joints that had an oily substance that prevented it from completely infusing with the host knee. All subjects who had used this device were forced to undergo further surgery. Due to these cases, the knee joints were recalled from the market. Subsequently, the company was acquired by Zimmer.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Knee Replacement Surgery Case
There are several good reasons to consult with a personal injury lawyer after knee replacement surgery. Even if you don’t think you have a case, it is important to understand your legal rights and options. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses if something went wrong.
A lawyer can help you determine whether you have a valid claim and guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit. A knee replacement lawsuit attorney will know how to negotiate with insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve.
Filing a lawsuit can be complicated and time-consuming, but a lawyer can handle the paperwork so that you don’t have to. An attorney can take on the burden of dealing with the legal process so that you can focus on your recovery.
If you’ve been injured in a knee replacement surgery, contact the Sentinel Group today to learn more about your legal rights and options.