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Depuy Attune Knee Victim “Pissed off that there’s No Way to Fix this Defect Without Litigation”

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San Jose, CAMike says he’s in worse shape now with his DePuy Synthes Attune knee replacement system than when he was injured after falling off a ladder. And he’s pissed off, to say the least.

Since getting the Attune Synthes model in 2014, Mike has had nothing but problems. The replacement knee buckles and pops and he is in constant pain. He has already undergone revision surgery: not one year later the device was completely loose and Mike’s surgeon put in a bigger spacer. “I knew it was loose because this knee is a faulty part, but no one will admit it,” says Mike. “Doctors don’t want to hear faulty just like they don’t want to hear the “L” word [lawyer] because they’re a bunch of cowards.”

Mike, age 66, says the revision surgery has left him completely disabled. He now uses a cane and a brace—before getting the Attune knee he could do just about anything. “My leg is so wobbly and my movements are so limited to the point that I’d rather have my leg amputated,” he says. “Now they tell me I need yet another entire knee replacement. “And I had no idea that a part of this device had been recalled until I found it on the LawyersandSettlements website and apparently neither does my surgeon,” quips Mike. The recall likely didn’t have anything to do with Mike’s Attune knee replacement, but it goes without saying that a recall of any kind, if related to a device you have implanted, is cause for concern.

The DePuy Attune knee recall involved a device used during knee replacement surgery—a small coil that could become detached and end up being left inside a patient. More worrisome is the malfunction of the knee itself. The Journal of Knee Surgery has identified an unusually high rate of premature failure in DePuy Attune Synthes knee replacements, and the FDA’s MAUDE database revealed 21 reports of tibial loosening at the implant–cement interface, technically referred to as “tibial baseplate failure,” or “debonding.” In other words, the artificial knee comes unglued from a patient’s lower leg.

“I called DePuy to see what they are doing about this defective knee, not to complain,” says Mike, laughing. “A nice girl asked me a bunch of stupid questions and sent me a form. They asked for the part number—how the f**k am I supposed to know that? They asked if I would go to Illinois and have their people inspect me! It’s all about liability and I am pissed off that there isn’t a way to fix this without getting a lawyer.”

Mike recently saw another orthopedic surgeon who wasn’t familiar with the DePuy Attune knee so Mike was sent to a revision expert. He was then told by the expert that there is some kind of cartilage under the knee cap that goes under your quad and it has torn. But that’s not news to Mike—that’s why he had the knee replacement in the first place. “So, every problem I am having with this knee is due to a little tear,” he adds. “And this guy told me there wasn’t a recall on any part of the Attune system--I am not having him do the surgery.” It makes you wonder—did DePuy do its due diligence and notify surgeons about the recall?

Mike says he’s suffered from the medical system and DePuy. He went on good faith that this knee replacement would put him in better shape. Instead he was given a faulty part. “When my transmission goes out I take it to the dealership and they have a warranty. But there’s no warranty on the DePuy Attune website.”


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