Knee Implant Fails Due to Production Defect


Biomechanical Engineering ExpertThis case takes place in Iowa and involves a patient who suffered a serious orthopedic incident following a failure of an artificial knee system. The plaintiff had the prosthetic knee for several months before it failed. The particular knee replacement system was a modular design, which failed at the point where the prosthetic was attached to the femur. It seems that the joint was machined improperly, leading to its eventual failure. The subject patient’s implanted knee system incorporated all the sizing and configuration of the “Worst Case Scenario” as outlined in documents published by the manufacturer. The FDA’s MAUDE database reveals that there have been over 50 reports of adverse events regarding the fracture or failure of the same type of hardware that failed in this case.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Are you familiar with this kind of knee replacement system?
  • 2. Have you ever had a patient experience problems resulting from use of this system?
  • 3. Could you review this patient's prosthesis and opine as to whether or not the injury was caused by failure of the knee replacement system?

Expert Witness Response E-007210

I am familiar with this kind of knee replacement system and I could opine as to whether the injury was caused by the failure of the knee replacement system with the help of a metallurgist. I conceived the concept for, was co-inventor of, and hold patents on a mobile bearing knee prosthesis manufactured by another company that was implanted in several thousand patients. Many if not most of my research publications regard the biomechanics of the knee, including gait and stair analysis of total knee replacement patients.

Expert Witness Response E-007791

I am familiar with this system and I am very familiar with knee implants overall. I can analyze the implant design and give my opinion. There are two aspects of this case that can be explored: the mechanical failure of the implant and the improper placement of the implant in terms of the patient’s characteristics. I would be happy to discuss the case further to determine the scope of my help.

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