Not too long ago, when you thought of a total knee replacement, you probably associated it with a medical procedure for the elderly. With total knee replacement surgery leading all other elective surgical procedures in the nation at around 600,000 performed each year, that is no longer the case. It is estimated that by the year 2030, there will be around 3 million of these operations performed each year in the U.S. That is an astounding number compared to just two decades ago.
According to a recent news article from The Spokesman Review, a 40-year-old woman just had a total knee replacement, and she is a member of the fastest-growing demographic for those having a total knee replacement. She is as far from the prototypical elderly patients of 20 years ago as you can get. The main question is why did she have the procedure?As she discussed, as an ultrasound technician, she would spend around eight hours on her feet every day at work. This was physically exhausting and put serious wear and tear on tear on her joints, including her knees. She said it got to the point where she dreaded walking down the steps in her own home to go down to her three-year-old daughter’s room. This was clearly no way to live at her age. She was only 40, after all.
One of the issues with a total knee replacement at a relatively young age deals with how long the artificial joint will last. With elderly people, this is not as big a practical concern, because the joint will often outlast the patient. This cannot be said with a 40-year-old patient. There is a very high likelihood that she will need to have second and possibly even a third total knee replacement at some point during her life. The reason for this is because, while a total knee replacement joint is considered durable medical equipment (DME), it is not expected to last forever. Even in the best cases, the artificial joint will probably be approaching the end of its useful life after 20 years if not sooner.
However, it should not be much sooner. As our Boston knee replacement injury lawyers can explain, if you have had an artificial knee implanted, and it is failing and needs to be replaced after only few years, there is probably something wrong. Unless you are in a major accident that disturbs the artificial knee, this device should not need to be replaced so soon.
Unfortunately, as some medical device companies that make these artificial knees realized the money that could be made selling hundreds of thousands of artificial knees each year, they started acting negligently. In some cases, this meant putting more focus on marketing than research and development, including safety testing. While they don’t advertise directly to patients like you see with drugs in most cases, they do advertise to surgeons. Some of these exciting new products were defectively designed, and they did not warn doctors of known issues.
Call the Boston Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
Spokane mom has knee replacement at 40, joining part of fastest-growing demographic for surgery, May 7, 2017, By Becky Kramer, The Spokesman Review
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