The chances of a replacement knee joint failing remain relatively low with around 95 percent of all metal and plastic joints lasting between 15 and 20 years. However, Depuy knee failure rates were far higher due to a problem with the replacement joints often becoming dislodged from the lower leg bones. This issue was not reported until recently. Many Africans have been affected by the failure which can result in serious side effects unless users pursue a revision surgery.
Failed knee replacements
Failed knee replacements are rare but do happen. According to the National Institutes of Health there are several groups who experience a higher risk of facing knee replacements, as males and younger patients often see higher rates of revision. What’s concerning is the higher frequency of these issues when the patient is using a Depuy knee replacement.
In 2017, it was reported as many as 1,500 patients had been affected by the failures in joints designed and manufactured by Depuy. With 400,000 Depuy knee joints used by surgeons across the world, the number of those affected could continue to rise.
Symptoms of a failed knee replacement
Patients who have been affected by the Depuy knee failure issue can expect a range of different symptoms including a loss of balance due to the erosion of attachment between the joint and the lower leg bones. Pain and swelling are also commonly seen in many patients who suffer a knee replacement problem as the connection with the leg bones are lost.
The Hospital for Special Surgery reports a patient who is affected by the disconnection of the replacement joint and lower limb will feel extreme pain accompanied by stiffness and a prominent limp. The affected area could also be affected by a rash as a result of a reaction with the metal of the knee replacement joint. The area around the joint could also see a raised temperature similar to a fever as the chance of infection is also higher among those affected by a failing Depuy replacement joint.
Revision Surgery will be required
The recall issued by Depuy is intended to allow patients the chance to undergo revision surgery which will hopefully restore the patient’s confidence in their replacement joint. Almost all patients must eventually undergo revision surgery for their knee joint because all begin to fail between 15 and 20 years after being installed. The Depuy knee failure issue means those affected by this problem could face a reduced level of mobility as a result of their failing joint. Those affected should seek revision surgery promptly to minimize damage and renew the shelf-life of their implant.
A knee replacement joint becomes a part of the bone of the lower leg meaning a certain amount of the bone must be removed to properly remove the installed knee joint. Many patients might need a bone graft in order to extend the bone and allow the knee joint to be installed correctly. Some patients only see a return of 80 percent of their mobility when they rehab from revision surgery. This is a consideration that should be weighed when visiting your physician.
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