New GPS-Like Device Helps Align Artificial Knee Joints

Every year, we see more advancements in medicine, including development of newer high-tech medical devices like those used in knee replacement surgery. According to a recent news feature form ABC 6, a new device works much “like a GPS” during total knee replacement surgery to help align a new artificial joint.

medical-instruments-3-1033916-mProper and secure alignment is essential in the long-term success of a total knee replacement. No matter how skilled a surgeon may be, if the artificial knee joint or the surgical cutting guide has been defectively designed, as we have seen in many cases, there is significant risk the knee will not be aligned properly. Even if proper alignment is established during surgery, manufacturing defects can cause the knee joint to shift out of alignment.   An artificial knee out of alignment can lead to significant pain and suffering and failure of the device.

Our Boston knee replacement injury attorneys  know this can result in a need for a second surgery to repair a defective knee. This means more pain and suffering, another recovery period, and more time missed at work. Even if the medical device company has agreed to pay for the second surgery, or your insurance company is covering the cost, you should contact an experienced knee injury attorney as soon as possible to see if you have a valid claim.

The new device, called Verasence,  uses pressure sensors placed around the site of the artificial knee implant, which connect to a computer to tell the surgeon in real time if the new knee is properly aligned. A surgeon interviewed said this is far superior to current methods, which involve using crude guides and physically knocking on the knee joint around the surgery site to see if “feels” like it is in place.

One patient featured in the article discussed how she spends her life working with horses and introducing cancer patients to horse riding through her non-profit organization. She said when her bad knees started to get worse, she could no longer enjoy doing her job. She decided to have her right knee replaced, and it took six months to recover to the point where could ride again. She described the recovery as very difficult.

When it came time to have her left knee replaced, her surgeon used this new device, and she had a much faster and easier recovery period, which she described as a “breeze” compared to knee replacement without the device.

Currently, there are very few doctors using these devices, as they are still in development before being offered for widespread use. One of two surgeons in the Philadelphia region using the new device said that, even when a surgery goes perfectly, around 20 percent of patients are not happy with the alignment of their new artificial knee. He is hoping this new device will fix this problem in future patients. Again, it should be noted that, no matter how well a knee is aligned during surgery, a defective knee could always lead to serious problems.

Call the Boston Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.

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