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Soldiers Twice as Likely to Need Total Knee Replacement Surgery

If you ever watch a documentary or reality show about military training, it seems like the men and women are being pushed to the limits of their physical ability. In reality, they are often being pushed far beyond what the human body was designed to do. This is evident in that military veterans over the age of 40 are more than twice as likely to need a total knee replacement as civilians of the same age.

peacekeeping-soldiers-1202476-m.jpgThe military calls this wear and tear on soldiers’ joints. One of the problems for soldiers is, after performing their jobs and suffering debilitating injury, they are often forced to leave the military due to a medical discharge. According to a recent feature from FOX News, many soldiers with knee troubles are now able to have a total knee replacement and remain on active duty.

With new knee replacement technology, military studies show over 85 percent of veterans who undergo total arthroplasty of the knee are able to return to active duty. Of those returning to active duty after having a total knee replacement, nearly two-thirds of them were able to be deployed to a combat zone and complete full tours of duty.

This has also lead the Department of Defense to change disability guidelines. Now, soldiers who undergo total knee replacement are assumed fit for active duty. While this is good news for those wishing to stay in the military, this increase in the number of patients having total knee replacement may well lead to problems down the road, as our Boston knee replacement injury attorneys can explain.

Many patients who undergo knee replacement surgery will experience serious complications with the artificial knee within a short time after implantation. One of the devices that has caused considerable pain and suffering is the knee made by medical device manufacturer Stryker. In order to implant an artificial knee, surgeons must cut existing bone and tissue to make a place to implant the device. All cuts must be exact and precise or the patient will have mobility problems, the joint may become loose, and the patient can suffer severe pain and other complications. In order to make proper cuts, surgeons use a cutting guide designed in partnership with the device manufacturer or by the device manufacturer itself. In the case of many Stryker knees, the ShapeMatch Cutting Guide was defective and was actually recalled.

It is important to put this in perspective. This is not like a recall on your car where you take it into the dealership. This is a device that has been used to improperly implant an artificial knee in thousands of patients. Patients have had to have second, third, and even fourth of fifth additional knee surgeries to fix the problems, each time undergoing a painful recovery and rehabilitation period.

This is not the only knee to have problems, as there are many others such as the Zimmer knee and the DePuy Knee. With the increase of the number of patients undergoing total knee replacement in the military, many at much younger ages than civilian patients, it is likely more people will be affected by defective knee replacement devices.

If you are the victim of Massachusetts product liability, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

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