Bridget, age 58, is a young “baby boomer.” She was looking forward to her retirement years but she has been in a wheelchair since having her knee implant in 2010.
“I had trouble with this DePuy knee right after surgery,” says Bridget. “I couldn’t extend it and a lot of scar tissue built up. My doctor gave me morphine and oxycontin but I still had a lot of pain. I’ve been on painkillers since 2010 and that causes its own set of problems.”
Bridget saw her orthopedic surgeon last month - she is supposed to have her right knee replaced but she is afraid that it will be a defective device and turn out like her left knee. “If the weather changes, my DePuy knee hurts so much I can’t even leave the house,” Bridget says. “When I’m not in my wheelchair, I have a cane to get around and I didn’t use either before the surgery. My surgeon has suggested that I have a revision surgery but I’m afraid of that too.
“I saw something about a DePuy knee recall on TV so I called DePuy. ‘Don’t call us, we will call you,’ someone said. Of course no one called. I wonder if they are putting me off on purpose and now I’m worried about the statute of limitations.
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Dave’s father had a Stryker hip implant in 2007 - one year before the device was recalled. “Dad’s hip replacement never worked properly: he was always falling down, which made it difficult for Mom to pick him up,” says Dave. “That hip ruined his life. He was confined to a wheelchair and he fell into a deep depression. I remember him saying, ‘I can’t do anything anymore.’ I think he was better off without having a hip replacement. He had nothing to look forward to.”
Dave’s father passed away last year.