The Emerging Trend of Shoulder Replacement Lawsuits
After one shoulder replacement device was recalled, shoulder replacement lawsuits are likely to follow. If you or someone you know has experienced complications from a shoulder replacement surgery, file a free case review to explore your legal options.
What is a Shoulder Replacement?
A total shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure designed to treat severe pain and stiffness caused by arthritis or degenerative joint disease in the shoulder. When the smooth cartilage that allows the ball-and-socket of the shoulder joint to glide easily against each other begin to wear away from arthritis or degenerative joint disease, the bones are left to rub against each other, causing significant pain.
A metal-on-plastic device is surgically inserted in the shoulder to restore range of motion and relieve the arthritic pain. The ball portion of the shoulder joint is replaced with a metal ball attached to a stem that goes down inside the upper arm bone and fits into a smooth plastic surface on the socket. In many cases, the plastic socket is then cemented to the surrounding bone. In a reverse shoulder replacement, the working parts are switched, with the ball in the socket’s place and the socket at the top of the humerus bone.
Shoulder Replacement Complications
Like many other medical devices and procedures, shoulder replacements and reverse shoulder replacements do not always work as intended. Several shoulder replacement surgery complications have arisen, including:
- Neurologic injury – Nerve damage can lead to the inability to feel your arm, hands or fingers, and in some cases, can even restrict or eliminate motor function in your arm.
- Bone fracture – Fractures of the humerus can occur during the procedure as the surgeon attempts to fix the implant stem into the bone.
- Infection/Hematoma – improper placement of the implant can cause blood to pool in open areas of the shoulder joint.
Shoulder Replacement Lawsuits
Although an exorbitant number of lawsuits have not been filed yet, there is a strong probability that more will start pouring in soon. The recall of one shoulder replacement model, along with a 2016 study showing significant chances of adverse complications following the procedure, supports this prediction.
A study published by the Journal of Elbow and Shoulder Surgery Board of Trustees showed that 71 percent of patients with short-stem shoulder replacements had radiolucent zones, generally a sign of bone loss.
The Biomet Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder system was recalled in 2010, just a few years after its release, when patients began complaining about the devices fracturing. A Colorado man was awarded $350,000 in a 2016 settlement after having two Biomet shoulder replacements that fractured and had to be surgically removed and replaced.
Take Legal Action
Recent events indicate there will soon be a rise in shoulder replacement lawsuits. If you or someone you know has experienced adverse complications after undergoing shoulder replacement surgery, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Click here to file a free case review with an experienced product liability attorney who will examine the details of your specific case before determining your best course of legal action.