At the time Zimmer recalled the Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate back in March of this year - a voluntary recall backed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - the manufacturer noted that of all the complaints received, 36 percent identified symptomatic radiolucent lines or were revised for loosening, 28 percent identified asymptomatic radiolucencies, 8 percent subsided, and 28 percent were inconclusive. Zimmer, at the time, said that one out of every six implants had the potential to fail, although medical experts speculated that failure rate could increase over time.
Artificial knees - even older, more traditional designs - are historically found to last on average about 15 years. At least that has been the expectation and, for most, the experience. However, in recent years a parade of design updates intended to lengthen the life of an artificial joint for an increasingly active patient community has had the opposite effect, failing after just a few years.
With the Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate, thousands of patients could be affected, given that the recall encompassed no fewer than 11,658 units manufactured and sold between 2012 and this year. Numerous Zimmer Persona Recall lawsuits are expected.
So, how does a patient - and prospective plaintiff - know if he or she has the problematic Zimmer joint?
Any patient suffering from ongoing pain, limited mobility or even total failure from a recently implanted device needs to determine what kind of joint was installed at the time of surgery, and the particular hardware involved. This is often discussed prior to surgery, and especially amongst patients who take an active role in their health and procedures related to surgery.
For anyone who has yet to acquire this information, the details - and the devil that may be revealed therein - can be found in the operative report routinely filed by the surgeon following implantation. Such a report contains specific details about the procedure and all hardware used.
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Revision surgeries are usually more complex than the primary procedure, often requiring a longer convalescence and additional time away from work or a favored lifestyle - all grounds for a Zimmer Persona Metal Plate lawsuit.