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What to Ask Your Doctor About Artificial Knee Failure

| Dec 2, 2010

If you suspect your knee implant has failed, you need to see a doctor immediately and address some questions to evaluate your knee. A doctor can evaluate your symptoms and determine if your knee is really failing. Questions you should ask include:

  1. Why does my knee feel painful and unstable? The knee implant might be releasing plastic debris or the knee is potentially loosening, resulting in build-up of fluids and reduced mobility.
  2. How long will my knee implant last? About 85% of artificial knee joints are still functioning after 20 years. Five years after surgery, if a joint malfunctions, and you haven't experienced any traumas, it is most likely that your implant is defective.
  3. Which implant do I have? Before you get a second surgery due to a joint failure, it is necessary to know what type of implant you currently have. If the implant has a history of failing, this will allow your doctor to know what exactly went wrong, as well as provide information for seeking legal help.
  4. Is a second surgery required? Depending on your overall health and the condition of the implant, there is a possibility. If plastic debris are shedding off the implant, for example, you'll need the implant taken out.
  5. What is the knee revision surgery like? The procedure is more difficult. Scar tissue may result, as well as bone loss causing stiffness and long-term immobility. The failed implant must be removed and bones cleaned of fixative materials. The second knee will not be anchored as thoroughly due to bone loss.
  6. Should I seek legal help? If joint failure is the result of a defect, it is absolutely necessary to seek legal counsel. Make sure you do not sign anything or surrender the prosthetic. You are entitled to compensation because you will likely face future mobility problems.

As a South Carolina knee recall lawyer, I highly advise asking your doctor these questions if you have any doubts and seek legal counsel, should you require one in the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex knee lawsuit.

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