San Francisco, CA (NursingSalary.org)- Knee problems due to arthritis and knee injuries are not uncommon and in some cases the issues are so severe that a knee replacement is the only option to restore the function of the joint. As a result, many people have implants or replacement parts that help to do away with the pain and allow for the knee joint to work the way it should. The knee replacement surgery should allow for the patient to return to more normal function but in some cases the actual knee replacement fails and it causes more problems than solutions.
The Zimmer knee replacement recall is one such incidence of when a medical procedure is meant to help the patient and it fails. Zimmer has issued a voluntary recall of their product. The reason for the recall is that the implants for the knee replacements are having higher than expected and earlier than expected failure rates in patients. The company admitted that the failure rate is about 9% of patients who have had the replacement surgery, are requiring corrective or revision surgeries within five years due to issues with the implant.
The failures are due to a simple design failure that was not realized until the product had already been implanted into thousands of patients. The issue with the revision surgeries is that they are usually more painful, harder to recover from and often more expensive than the first surgery in which the replacement was made.
Register Your Zimmer Implant
Patients who have the implant should register the implant with Zimmer. This will entitle them to a replacement surgery at the expense of the company. The problems with this implant are that patients are experiencing knee complications and pain, loosening of the implant and total failure of the implant. As a result, all patients with this knee replacement model should schedule a follow up appointment with their surgeon. The surgeon will be able to determine whether or not the knee replacement is still working effectively or if it needs to be corrected. Most of the implants continue to work well over time but following up with a doctor regularly will help ensure that a total failure of the replacement can be avoided, if at all possible.
Patients that have Zimmer implants should ensure that they see their surgeon regularly for check ups. They should also be very aware of the functioning of their implant and if any changes are experienced they will need to see their surgeon as soon as possible to determine if the implant is failing. Because there will already be scar tissue and the like, it is important to replace the implant before it fails completely so that function of the joint can be restored with a successive operation. Knee surgery is difficult enough to recover from, so being in tune with the implant at all times will help patients realize there is a problem before the existing bone and muscle and the like can be damaged further by a failing implant.