Defective Bone Cement
Defective Medical Device Attorneys, Serving Rochester & Buffalo
Bone cement is commonly used in a variety of surgeries, including knee, elbow, and other joint-replacement surgeries. When it works correctly, bone cement acts like glue, bonding bones and various medical devices and components used in a number of medical procedures. However, bone cement defects and problems have been reported over the years, with many cases involving painful, debilitating injuries and life-threatening complications.
If you or your loved one suffered painful injuries and complications, including debonding and infection, as a result of defective bone cement, reach out to our team of Rochester defective medical device attorneys today. For more than 50 years, Faraci Lange, LLP has been representing victims of defective medical devices and pharmaceutical drugs throughout the area, including in Rochester and the surrounding counties. We understand just how serious and far-reaching the impact of defective bone cement is, both for victims and their loved ones. Our attorneys can explain your rights and legal options based on your unique situation and begin immediately building a powerful case aimed at securing the compensation you are owed.
Problems with High-Viscosity Bone Cements
High-viscosity bone cement is a relatively new type of this medical device. Some manufacturers of high-viscosity bone cement fought to have the device fast-tracked by claiming it was “substantially equivalent” to other lower-viscosity cements. Because of this, many high-viscosity bone cements were not subject to the same rigorous independent safety and efficacy testing and standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Additionally, high-viscosity bone cement was marketed as easier and more convenient for surgeons, leading to fairly widespread use. Specifically, manufacturers claimed that high-viscosity bone cement allowed for faster mixing and waiting times and more effective hardening and working times. As a result, surgeons began using high-viscosity bone cement in a number of joint replacement and other surgical procedures.
However, in recent years, it’s become clear that there are issues with high-viscosity bone cement, which has shown a pattern of higher rates of debonding than other more traditional bone cements.
Symptoms of Debonding
Most patients do not experience symptoms of debonding until several years after surgery. Debonding occurs when the cement fails to hold the joint replacement/implant in place, leading to it slipping or coming loose. This, in turn, can lead to a number of complications.
Some of the symptoms of bone cement debonding include:
- Chronic pain
- Limited range of motion
- Persistent pain
If the surgical site does not appear to be healing correctly or if you are experiencing new or worsened issues in the years following knee, hip, or other joint replacement surgery, it’s important to seek medical attention. You could be experiencing an issue such as debonding or another complication arising from defective bone cement.
In addition to debonding, some patients who undergo joint replacement surgery involving bone cement may experience a rare but serious condition known as bone cement implantation syndrome, or BCIS. In many cases, BCIS is fatal.
While medical professionals are still uncertain as to what exactly causes BCIS, many believe it is the result of bone marrow entering the bloodstream. When bone cement is used, it expands, which can put pressure on the surrounding bones. This pressure can then cause blood vessels in the bones to burst, leading to bone marrow, fat, cement, and other debris entering the bloodstream where they can lead to arterial clogs.
Symptoms of BCIS include:
- Cardiac arrest
- Pulmonary embolism
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Loss of consciousness
- Hypoxia (low oxygen supply in the blood)
- Cardiac arrhythmias
While BCIS is most commonly associated with partial and total hip replacement, it can also occur as a result of any surgical procedure involving the use of bone cement.
Proving defective bone cement cases is very challenging. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that debonding can occur for a variety of reasons; a defect is not the only reason debonding may occur. Following a knee replacement surgery or another similar procedure in which bone cement was used, certain accidents, including significant falls, can cause debonding and other issues. Additionally, various components used in the surgery itself can affect the strength of the bond.
However, the reported high rate of debonding associated with high-viscosity bone cements, as well as the risk of bone cement implantation syndrome (BCIS), is cause for concern. If you or someone you care about may have been affected by defective bone cement, reach out to our attorneys at Faraci Lange, LLP to learn more about your legal options.
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Our Rochester defective bone cement lawyers have extensive experience and a proven record of success in complex defective medical device cases. Our award-winning team proudly serves clients throughout Buffalo and all of the surrounding areas. We are here to answer your questions and help guide you through this difficult time, working tirelessly to help you and your family obtain just compensation for the losses and damages you have suffered.
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