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Faulty Replacement Implants from Wright and Tornier

Shoulder replacement surgery, a procedure wherein damaged bones of the shoulder are replaced, is usually performed for reasons that include relieving patients of severe shoulder joint pain and restoring shoulder motion and function.

Causes of shoulder pain and reduced shoulder function include: osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis), severe shoulder fracture or failed previous shoulder replacement surgery.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), around 53,000 people in the U.S. have shoulder arthroplasty or shoulder replacement surgery each year. Doctors recommend surgery only if their patients’ shoulder problems can no longer be treated with medicine and other non-surgical means.

The increasing number of patients who undergo shoulder replacement surgery is due to promises (from manufacturers of shoulder replacement devices) of increased function and minimized pain. This is not the case, however, if patients get faulty replacement implants, for instead of their pain being removed, this rather increases; on top of that, the need for corrective surgery only leads to additional costly medical care.

A case about defective replacement devices is a recent issue that involves manufacturers Wright Medical Technology, Inc. and Tornier, Inc. (these two global medical device companies) which merged in October of 2015. The replacement devices manufactured by these companies have been alleged to cause additional injuries in patients, including significant bone loss, instability, weakness, and unexplained pain.

Currently, shoulder replacement lawsuits have been filed by patients who now suffer from serious side effects which include bone damage, metal toxicity and dislocation, among many others. Besides these side-effects, which can be proven to have been Wright and Tornier’s faulty devices, patients also continue to feel the pain they were trying to have treated in the first place. Due to the side-effects, these patients now need to undergo another surgery in order to correct the new problems created by their Wright or Tonier shoulder replacement implant.

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