Historically, patients who go under the knife for hip or knee replacements reference hip or knee replacement surgery without indicating - or even knowing - the particulars of the device. That’s left up to the surgeon, with the patient usually having little interest in such trivial matters.
That’s all changing, with increasing failure rates and revision surgeries in kind.
A primary example of this is the February 2015 voluntary recall of the Zimmer Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate - a recall that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supported with a Class II recall about a month later. All lots of the Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate were recalled and yanked from distribution “following an increase in complaints of radiolucent lines and loosening,” according to the FDA.
Such complaints may seem trivial on paper, but in the reality of the everyday world such a failure can foster intense pain and loss of mobility - and thus a sometimes devastating impact on the health, well-being, career and lifestyle of the individual.
Replacement knees and hips are becoming more commonplace as the largest single demographic of the American population - the baby boomer - moves into retirement. Medical device manufacturers are, in kind, vying for market share in an increasingly lucrative sector. Devices are infused with new materials and updated designs brought to market faster through the 510(k) Clearance loophole made available by the FDA, which mitigates the need for lengthy and costly clinical trials.
In this environment, however, and against such a backdrop, medical devices are failing with increasing regularity.
As such, patients are advised to take a more active role in knowing and archiving the particulars of their procedure - including the manufacturer of the implant and the implant itself - in the event of unforeseen problems down the road. Those plaintiffs experiencing Zimmer Persona Knee pain, for example, may have had an opportunity to get the ball rolling sooner had they been aware of the particular implant they received.
Revision procedures can be more complex and introduce more complications than the initial implant surgery. And court cases can be lengthy - whether it is over a Zimmer Persona Metal Plate lawsuit or other device.
Witness the trials and tribulations of plaintiff Margo Polett, who underwent a double knee replacement in 2006 using Zimmer’s Gender Solutions device. Polett alleged in a subsequent lawsuit that she re-injured her knees making a promotional video in support of the attributes of the Gender Solutions device.
Polett alleged in her lawsuit against Zimmer et al and the communications company tasked with making the video that activities she was compelled to undertake - riding a bicycle and running on a treadmill, among them - caused new damage to her knees. Polett has since undergone several revision surgeries and is nonetheless saddled with persistent pain, or so it is alleged.
Polett and her husband launched a Zimmer lawsuit over allegations of negligence, and in 2010, a jury in Philadelphia returned a verdict of $27.6 million. The June 2011 verdict translated to $26.6 million for Margo Polett and $1 million for her husband Dan Polett, for loss of consortium.
READ MORE ZIMMER PERSONA LEGAL NEWS
The lawsuit is Margo Polett and Daniel Polett v. Public Communications, Inc., Zimmer, Inc., Zimmer USA, Inc., and Zimmer Holdings, Inc. in The Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
And the Poletts have to start all over again, years after the injuries and an equally long time frame steering the matter through the courts. Polett, it has been reported, must use a walker and subsequent surgeries have done little to improve her situation.
All the more reason, be it a Zimmer Persona Metal Plate lawsuit or similar action, to respond to problems early and remain aware of the various parts that go into your body. A lawsuit, while potentially lucrative in response to very real pain and suffering, can nonetheless go on for years…