Shoulder Replacement Failure

While roughly 90% of all shoulder replacements last at least 10 years, some do fail. Reasons for shoulder replacement failure range from infections to potentially faulty implants. In cases where a device is to blame, victims may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer to obtain compensation for their injury-related damages.

Attorneys Investigating Shoulder Replacement Failure Claims

The medical device attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are now investigating possible legal claims related to shoulder replacement failure. If you were left disabled or required revision surgery due to a defective shoulder prosthesis, please call (888) 994-5118 to arrange for a free review of your case.

Biomet, Inc. Pays $350,000 to Settle Shoulder Replacement Failure Claim

In February 2016, Biomet, Inc. agreed to pay $350,000 to settle  a product liability case involving the alleged failure of its Comprehensive Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement System. According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, the case had been brought on behalf of a plaintiff who suffered fractures of  two Comprehensive Reverse Shoulders that he had received in 2009 and 2010. The failure of the  prostheses, which was allegedly caused by devices included in a 2010 Biomet shoulder replacement recall,  resulted in their eventual removal and replacement. Read More

Why Do Shoulder Replacements Fail?

During traditional shoulder replacements, a surgeon replaces the top of the humerus and the shoulder blade. The new components may be held together by cement, or they be made of material that promotes the growth of new bone. Rehab from shoulder replacement generally takes several months, and is intended to help the patient regain as much strength, endurance, and mobility as possible. When successful, a shoulder replacement should last10 to 20 years.

While the vast majority of patients will experience good outcomes, shoulder replacement failures do occur. Risks and complications commonly associated with these surgeries include:

  • Infections: Some infections may require removal of shoulder prosthesis. Once the infection resolves, the patient may be able to receive new implants.
  • Rotator cuff damage: Following shoulder replacement, the rotator cuff muscles are more prone to injury.
  • Prosthetic misalignment or loosening: This may occur if shoulder implants are not sufficiently secured to bone or if they are not well-aligned to other parts of the shoulder.
  • Bone Fracture: A post-surgical fracture may require a second shoulder surgery.
  • Joint dislocation or partial dislocation.
  • Component erosion.
  • Nerve injuries.
  • Allergic reaction to cement or joint prosthesis.

Any of these occurrences can result in severe pain and disability, resulting in the need for shoulder replacement  revision surgery.

Shoulder Replacement Revision

Revision is the only treatment for shoulder replacement failure. It is generally best to have the prostheses removed and replaced as soon as possible to lessen the risk of complications. Revision surgeries of any type generally take longer and are more complex than initial implant procedures.

Because of the increased complexity of revision shoulder surgery, the risk of complications is higher. Infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and trauma to blood vessels are possible. Not all individuals will be able to return to the same level of function after a revision procedure.

Shoulder Replacement Failure Lawsuits

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is offering free, no obligation legal reviews to individuals who experienced shoulder replacement failure. To learn more, please call (888) 994-5118.

  1. Lexus Legal News (2016) “Biomet Shoulder Lawsuit Settles For $350,000”
  2. UW Medicine (2015) “Basics of Failed Shoulder Surgery”
Last Modified: August 31, 2016

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