Knee replacement surgery has a high failure rate

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

About 650,000 people undergo knee replacement surgery each year, but not all of these operations are successful. Knee replacements sometimes fail because patients are told to avoid strenuous exercise, which can lead to a weakening of the muscles that support and protect the knee. Other knee replacement failures are caused by mistakes made during surgery or while West Virginia patients are rehabilitating.

Surgical errors

During a knee replacement operation, the damaged bone is removed so the femur can be placed directly above the tibia. The bones are then adjusted to make sure that the tendons on each side of the knee are balanced. The metal artificial knee components are then cemented to the bones. When artificial knee components become loose shortly after surgery, it is often because they were not placed properly or the ligaments on each side of them were misaligned. Errors like these could indicate that surgeons failed to meet generally accepted health care standards, which is why knee replacement failures sometimes lead to medical malpractice lawsuits.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy and rehabilitation are crucial following knee replacement surgery because many of the patients who undergo the procedure suffer from arthritis. People with arthritic knees usually have limited joint movement and weakened leg muscles, and many of them adjust their walking styles to minimize discomfort. Experienced physical therapists can help people with artificial joints to walk normally again, but some patients are given no assistance at all after knee replacement surgery and are left to rehabilitate on their own. To avoid knee replacement failures, experts say patients should attend physical therapy sessions that include weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises for about three months.

Ongoing discomfort

In many cases, knee replacement failures occur because surgeons made mistakes or patients did not receive physical therapy. When patients are harmed because the treatment they received did not meet accepted standards, they may seek compensation by filing medical malpractice lawsuits.