Consumers are likely familiar with warranties offered any time a purchase is made for a new appliance or electronic. But what about surgeries for replacement body parts? Although one million individuals receive hip or knee implants every year, only one manufacturer offers a warranty, and this warranty is only on a partial knee implant.
Lisa McGiffert, director at Consumer Union’s Safe Patient Project, believes that manufacturers should provide patients with a 20-year warranty on all implants. This warranty would entitle patients with defective hip and knee implants to obtain total replacements at no cost. McGiffert says that higher numbers of younger people are getting these implants and those getting implants in the older population do so to maintain an active lifestyle, thus highlighting the importance of product safety and longevity.
Consumers Union has data showing that nearly 20 percent of hip replacements and almost 10 percent of knee replacements require additional surgeries to correct defects. The additional surgeries wind up costing patients and insurance companies hundreds of millions of dollars. McGiffert believes that this increased cost should not fall on anyone else’s head but the companies who make faulty replacements.
Patients may learn of a defective implant through sudden pain or other side effects that impact their ability to move around in daily life. If the defective implant requires surgery, patients simply have to live with the side effects until the additional procedure can be scheduled. A growing number of patients have been experiencing problems post-surgery, leading to reports made to the Food and Drug Administration as well as lawsuits to recover damages. Consumers Union officials argue that since body part implants are a very important product, available to consumers, a stronger form of protection against defective devices should be used, such as a warranty. If you or someone you know has been hurt by a faulty hip or knee implant, contact an Illinois defective medical device attorney today.