More disturbing news has been uncovered in the latest DePuy Attune lawsuit in Mobile, Alabama. The plaintiff in the lawsuit was revealed to have undergone knee replacement surgery in February 2015. At the recommendation of her doctors she received the Attune replacement, which DePuy had aggressively promoted since it was approved by the FDA in 2010. Less than two years later the Attune implant failed and in November 2016 the plaintiff required revision surgery to replace the defective Attune implant.
The Attune is part of a new generation of knee implants designed to last longer than the 15-year life span of earlier devices. Approved by the FDA in 2010, the Attune immediately saw widespread use. But as the popularity of the implant grew, so did alarms about the safety of the device. It has been reported that the FDA has received almost 1,400 reports of the Attune failing, and that at least 633 of those reports required revision surgery to replace the implant.
In the Mobile lawsuit the plaintiffs lawsuit claims, “Recipients of the Attune Devices have been required to undergo revision surgeries well before the estimated life expectancy of the Attune Devices and at a much higher rate than should reasonably be expected for devices of this kind.” It goes on further to claim that, “Despite knowledge that the Attune Devices were defective and resulted in the aforementioned failures and accompanying complications. Defendants continue to aggressively market and sell the defective Attune Devices, all the while maintaining that they are safe and effective for use in total knee replacement.”
Patients with the Attune knee system often experience unusual swelling, instability and loosening, decreased motion, persistent pain and these symptoms often precede knee destabilization and dislocation. Failure reports for the Attune implant have described tibial baseplate failure or debonding. Essentially, it simply means that the implanted artificial knee has come unglued from the patient’s lower leg. I have received reports from orthopedic surgeons who informed me that it’s normal when doing revisions that much of the cement used in implanting the device is still stuck to the baseplate when it’s removed – having maintained its adherence. During revisions on the Attune, surgeons have been amazed that the devices baseplate comes out clean almost as if the glue never adhered at all. They report that the baseplates removed in Attune revisions were completely clean and looked brand new, like there had never been any bond to begin with.
I expect many more Attune lawsuits to be filed. DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is no stranger to medical device lawsuits. The company’s A.S.R. and Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip joints were part of the largest medical device recall in history. Again, DePuy introduced a product to market they knew was dangerous. The company continued to market a knowingly defective product to maximize profits – and with no regard for their patients safety.
If you or a loved one has suffered complications from a DePuy’s Synthes Attune Knee Replacement System, please do not hesitate to contact Saunders & Walker for a free consultation. As failures escalate we will be available to answer any questions and provide you with important information about your knee implant.