July 24, 2014 — A man from Hawaii who says his knee replacement failed within just 15 months has filed a lawsuit against DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary unit of Johnson & Johnson.
The plaintiff, Manuel A. Sanchez, says the defective DePuy Sigma implant forced him to endure numerous medical procedures, including surgery to remove and replace the implant. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Hawaii on July 1.
According to the complaint (PDF), Sanchez suffered from end-stage arthritis in his left knee. He underwent knee replacement surgery in March 2011, but complications occurred almost immediately.
In May, he was diagnosed with arthrofibrosis, a condition in which scar tissue reduces range-of-motion in the knee. He was diagnosed with synovitis in October. This chronic, painful condition causes chronic inflammation of the synovial membrane around the joint.
Between April 2011 and March 2012, he had seven aspiration procedures to drain fluid from the knee. His doctor suspected an infection.
After Sanchez changed doctors, doctors performed a CT scan and found that components of the DePuy knee replacement had rotated, loosened, and failed to become fixed in the bone cement. He underwent revision surgery in July 2012.
The lawsuit accuses DePuy of selling a defective implant:
“The prosthetic knee components used in Plaintiff’s knee replacement surgery on March 29, 2011 failed to perform as designed and/or were not properly cleaned and/or shipped with a coating that prevented the Palacos cement from affixing to the tibial component which resulted in catastrophic knee failure suffered by Plaintiff.”