Exactech Recalls Hip, Knee, and Ankle Replacements
Thousands of patients across the country recently received troubling news regarding their knee, ankle, and hip replacements. Surgical product company Exactech has initiated a recall involving the inserts in these joint replacement systems, as defects can cause premature wear of the device and a variety of potential injuries to the patient.
If you or a loved one has an Exactech device, it’s important to understand all the details of the recall, why it’s happening, and what you should do next. Bailey & Greer, PLLC is currently reviewing cases; contact our injury attorneys in Memphis to learn more about how we can help.
What is the Exactech recall about?
Medical device company Exactech announced a massive recall of its knee, ankle, and hip replacement systems made between 2004 and February 2022. They issued this recall after discovering a defect in the packaging caused a degradation in polyethylene components. Per a letter from Exactech to surgeons:
The use of these non-conforming bags may enable increased oxygen diffusion to the polyethylene insert resulting in increased oxidation of the material relative to inserts packaged with the specified additional oxygen barrier layer. Over time, oxidation can severely degrade the mechanical properties of the Connexion GXL polyethylene, which, in conjunction with other surgical factors, can lead to both accelerated wear and bone loss, and/or component fatigue cracking/fracture, all leading to corrective revision surgery.
What devices does the Exactech recall affect?
The recall spans across a variety of implant system product lines, including knee, ankle, and hip:
- OPTETRAK® All-polyethylene Tibial Components (TKR)
- OPTETRAK® All-polyethylene Tibial Components (PKR)
- OPTETRAK® Tibial Inserts (TKR)
- OPTETRAK® HI-FLEX® Polyethylene Tibial Inserts (TKR)
- ARTHROFOCUS® Polyethylene Tibial Inserts (TKR)
- OPTETRAK® Custom Polyethylene Tibial Inserts (TKR)
- OPTETRAK® LOGIC® Polyethylene Tibial Inserts (TKR)
- OPTETRAK® RBK® Polyethylene Tibial Inserts (TKR)
- TRULIANT® Tibial Inserts (TKR)
- OPTETRAK® Logic RBK Tibial Components (TKR)
- Vantage® Fixed-Bearing Polyethylene Liner Component (TAR)
- Vantage® Mobile-Bearing Polyethylene Liner Component (TAR)
- Acumatch GXL Acetabular Liners
- MCS GXL Acetabular Liners
- Novation GXL Acetabular Liners
- Exactech All Polyethylene Cemented Acetabular Cup
- Acumatch Conventional UHMWPE
- MCS Conventional UHMWPE
To find out if you have an affected implant, you can input your device’s serial number on the Exactech website.
Injuries from recalled Exactech implants
As mentioned earlier, the defective packaging can cause “accelerated wear and bone loss, and/or component fatigue cracking/fracture.” This can lead to a variety of patient injuries, including revision surgery. Having had joint replacement surgery once before, repeat procedures are always risky. Other potential injuries from these defective medical implants include:
- Instability in the joint
- Chronic pain
- Bone loss and disintegration
- Difficulty bearing weight
- Implant cracking/failure
Generally, any or all of these will necessitate corrective and invasive procedures, which can further jeopardize a patient’s health and force them to undergo the surgical and recovery process a second time.
What should I do if I have an Exactech joint replacement?
If you have an Exactech knee, ankle, or hip replacement, contact your physician or surgeon about next steps. They should be aware of the recall and know the signs of joint degradation. You can be vigilant for symptoms yourself, too, like pain and swelling in the implant area.
We also recommend contacting an experienced Memphis defective medical device attorney for guidance, as Exactech is involved in some controversial activity regarding these implants.
What’s Exactech covering up?
According to court documents, sales representatives for Exactech claim the company knew of these device defects years ago and did nothing. Several physicians reported issues with the devices, as well as their own representatives, but at the time, the company refused to issue a recall. In fact, Exactech even launched an internal investigation confirming these defects but continued selling them due to the fact they were “drowning in inventory.”
Filing a Memphis product liability claim
If you or a loved one has an Exactech implant, the company or a representative may contact you regarding a settlement or compensation. Never sign any offer without reviewing it with your personal injury attorney to ensure it’s in your best interests. Our attorneys can help you file a defective product claim under the following grounds:
- The device design was dangerous, as the packaging was contained a defect that caused a component in the medical implants to prematurely degrade or fail.
- The company knew of these risks and failed to warn the public or pull their products from the market.
- You or your loved one suffered injuries and losses as a result of this defective implant/joint.
With a defective medical device claim, you are eligible to claim the following damages:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of a new knee, ankle, or hip replacement and resulting physical therapy and related expenses.
- Lost wages, in the event you miss time from work from surgery and recovery.
- Pain and suffering from your physical and emotional distress.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Because Exactech attempted to cover up these defects and willfully allowed so many patients to suffer for so long, a jury will likely consider punitive damages in these cases. Punitive damages “are considered punishment and are typically awarded at the court’s discretion when the defendant’s behavior is found to be especially harmful.”
The Memphis attorneys at Bailey & Greer, PLLC want to help if you or a member of your family were injured by an Exactech or other faulty medical device. We understand that you underwent surgery in order to improve your mobility – not to make it worse. Let us put our knowledge and resources to work for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to talk about your case in either our Memphis or Jackson offices. You can reach us at 901-475-7434 or use our contact form to get started.
As founder of Bailey & Greer, R. Sadler Bailey has battled his fair share of insurance giants and wrongdoers and has achieved numerous multimillion-dollar results for the victims of catastrophic injuries and their families. What’s more, he has been involved in more than 40 appellate court decisions affecting Tennessee personal injury law, including many landmark appearances before the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Read more about R. Sadler Bailey