More than 10,000 NHS patients have been given faulty Nexgen knee implants, according to reports in the British media. The Nexgen implant, made by the US medical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet, had been in use since 2003 but was withdrawn from the market in October of this year.
Previously available across multiple NHS trusts, the Nexgen implant has been shown to fail in up to 7% of patients after ten years – twice the accepted 3.5% failure rate set by the National Joint Registry. Some studies have found the failure rate to be as high as 17.6%, contributing to many patients requiring painful revision surgery.
Faulty knee implants can have a catastrophic impact on the quality of life of those fitted with them. For elderly patients, for example, a second knee replacement operation poses a much greater risk along with a reduced ability to carry out basic tasks. News that over 10,000 patients have been fitted with the faulty NexGen implants raises again the possibility of mass litigation against Zimmer Biomet, a company not unfamiliar with lawsuits being filed against them.
The Nexgen implant is part of a family of Zimmer Biomet devices with 88 possible variants. Of these variants, three combinations have been shown to put patients at a dangerously high risk of joint failure – “posterior stabilised” implants, those with “flex” femoral components, and the standard cemented “option” tibial component. Of particular concern is the LPS Flex Femoral implant with ‘option’ cemented Tibia, and the LPS GSF Flex Femoral implant with ‘option’ cemented Tibia. These two implants have been given to at least 10,420 people in the UK alone, with many thousands more likely to have been fitted worldwide.
Have you experienced problems following knee replacement surgery?
Patients fitted with the Nexgen implant may suffer greatly following “aseptic loosening” of the tibial component. This is where the component attached to the shin comes loose, causing pain and inflammation as the implant rubs against the bone. The impact of this fault can be severely debilitating, leaving the patient fitted with the device in near-constant pain and unable to sleep. If you have experienced these sorts of problems, you are very likely to be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. We’d encourage you to get in touch with our medical negligence claims team to discuss bringing your case. Call us on 1800 390 555 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email on email@example.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.