Injured joints result in mobility issues that adversely affect a person’s quality of life. Exactech joint replacement devices for hips, knees, ankles, and shoulders are designed for people with joint problems. Typically, surgeons use these medical devices to replace injured or arthritic joints.
In September 2023, a Drugwatch report stated that Exactech faced lawsuits for selling defective devices to government entities. The company was also held accountable for getting involved in illegal consulting agreements with certain doctors. In October 2022, close to 75 lawsuits were consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
These lawsuits were filed by plaintiffs who complained that their hip and knee implants had prematurely failed and required revision surgery. The report also stated that, since August 2021, Exactech, the popular orthopedic device maker, has recalled nearly 200,000 hip, ankle, and knee prosthetics. These lawsuits also reveal users’ discontent with the brand’s Optetrak and Connexion implants.
In this article, we will shed light on the problems associated with Exactech implants and their repercussions. Additionally, we will highlight the actions to take to remedy this situation.
Exactech’s Connexion Hip Replacement Gone Wrong
Ideally, a hip replacement should last for 20 years. In December 2022, AboutLawsuits.com reported on Susan Schrott’s issue with Exactech hip replacement. This New York woman had filed her Exactech lawsuit, alleging that Connexion GXL Liner, used in her implant, had failed within four years.
Susan needed additional surgery to remove the components. Her complaint sheds light on the defective components that were used during the entire hip replacement procedure. These components were packaged in ‘non-conforming’ bags, which caused the plastic liners to come into contact with oxygen before being implanted in her body.
Since 2004, Connexion GXL liners have been used in over 130,000 hip replacement systems. However, the majority of these cases reported high revision rates and failures, primarily due to component loosening, an increased probability of polyethylene wear, and various other complications.
Susan’s X-ray report revealed evidence of osteolysis and polyethylene wear, but she is not alone in facing these issues. Other patients have also experienced similar problems with Exactech’s knee replacement device.
Complaints Against Exactech’s Optetrak Knee Replacement
In May 2022, New York Injury Law News reported on a plaintiff’s complaint against Exactech. In 2017, she had to undergo complete knee replacement surgery on both of her knees. The surgeon had implanted Optetrak knee devices that had the recalled polyethylene inserts.
The plaintiff was suffering from pain and restricted mobility right after three years after the surgery. The surgeon said that her right knee required revision surgery and pointed out the complete degradation of the polyethylene tray component. This deterioration led to a device failure, which demanded a complete replacement.
The sad part of this story is that Exactech knew about the issues linked to this device before recalling it. According to the Australian Registry Annual Report, Optetrak device revision rates were much higher compared to the standard rate. In comparison to similar devices, Optetrak reported the 2nd worst mean percent failure rate within three years.
The plaintiff mentioned negligence, breach of warranties, and fraudulent concealment in her lawsuit. All of these raise concerns about the device’s performance and result in many side effects.
Exactech Joint Replacement Device Failure: Side Effects & Action Plan for Victims
The joint replacement devices by Exactech were designed to replace arthritic, painful joints resulting from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteonecrosis. However, the recalled products were packaged in faulty bags that didn’t have an oxygen barrier layer, which led to oxidation.
The side effects include:
- Excessive and premature device wear
- Device failure
- Component fracture
- Worsening of the pain
- Swelling in the wounded area
- Increased bone loss
- Revision surgery
Any individual who has faced problems with Exactech joint replacement devices can take legal action by filing a lawsuit. However, doing this alone can be challenging, as no layperson is aware of the legal procedures. It is necessary to get in touch with a lawyer who has relevant experience in handling medical device failure lawsuits.
Before heading to the lawyer’s office, victims should gather every piece of evidence that authenticates their claim. The lawyer will use the same to prepare a compelling case and present it to the court so that the victims can get compensated for their pain and suffering. It is essential to learn about the settlement amount from the lawyer.
TorHoerman Law states that Exactech lawsuits are in the initial stages, and precise data about the settlement amount is still not available. However, one can expect it to range between $50,000 and $300,000 based on the damages suffered and the individual case history. This is merely an estimate based on earlier legal cases involving faulty medical device failures and related injuries.
Living with joint problems is never easy. In cases of extreme pain and discomfort, patients are compelled to opt for joint replacement devices. Lawsuits against Exactech’s Connexion GXL liners and Optetrak knee devices reveal the suffering that patients endured. What was meant to be a cure became the cause of extreme trouble for people who opted for these replacement devices.
The issues reported against Exactech’s joint replacement devices underscore the need for ongoing monitoring and accurate testing. The lawsuits are raising awareness about the side effects of the devices, which should make patients think twice before using them. Furthermore, patients who are unaware of these issues and end up suffering after using them should seek both medical aid and legal assistance.