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Bone Cement Lawsuits in Pennsylvania

Mass Tort Lawyers Serving Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Pottsville, Shippensburg, & Wilkes-Barre

Since 1888, Metzger Wickersham has been seeking justice on behalf of our clients who have suffered from serious injuries. Our personal injury attorneys in Harrisburg have extensive experience handling mass tort lawsuits, or those lawsuits involving numerous plaintiffs in civil action against a corporate defendant.

Some of the most common mass tort lawsuits are brought against defendants who have manufactured, sold or distributed defective medical devices. Our attorneys are currently looking into cases involving knee replacement failure due to the use of high viscosity bone cement.

Current bone cement products under investigation include:

  • Cobalt HV Bone Cement (Biomet/DJO Surgical)
  • DePuy CMW 1 Bone Cement
  • Simplex HV Bone Cement (Stryker/Howmedica)
  • SmartSet HV Bone Cement (DePuy)

If you have been affected by injuries due to bone cement failure, we encourage you to contact our Pennsylvania mass tort attorneys at (888) 286-2850 for a free consultation.

What Is Bone Cement and How Can It Cause Injury?

Doctors performing knee replacement surgeries sometimes use bone cement to anchor artificial joints in the free space between a new prosthesis and the existing bone. Bone cement, also called epoxy, attaches the new prosthetic knee joint to the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). Bone cement is comprised of a powder and liquid is mixed in. Cement is either low, medium or high viscosity, depending on the thickness of the mixture. Researchers have shown that each type of cement has a different likelihood of long-term success or failure.

Unfortunately, many patients who have undergone knee or other joint replacement surgery have suffered from bone cement implantation syndrome (BCIS), caused by the failure of high viscosity bone cement to properly adhere to the prosthesis. BCIS is very dangerous, not only because this painful condition can cause joint instability from mechanical loosening, but because it can lead to pulmonary embolism, cardiac arrest, even death. Often, BCIS patients have difficulty walking, especially if the replaced joint was weight-bearing, like a hip or knee.

High Viscosity Bone Cement and Implant Failure

A type of bone cement frequently used is known as high-viscosity cement. In the process of removing a damaged knee or hip joint, for example, the surgeon will attach the components of the knee joint, or prosthesis, using this cement. The reason high-viscosity cement has been so popular in recent years is because surgeons find it easier to control, it offers shorter mixing time, and it is supposed to set the implant in place more quickly, meaning patients get in and out of the operating room faster. Despite these advantages and the convenience of high-viscosity cement, growing evidence shows that it is not strong enough for a successful, long-term outcome. In fact, research by The Orthopaedic Research Society has found high viscosity cement is less effective long-term, and has a higher risk of failure.

In 2016, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (BNBI) found that 13 patients who had total knee replacement surgery suffered from implant failure, as the high-viscosity cement failed to successfully keep the prosthesis in place. By contrast, there were no cases of implant failure in patients whose surgeons had used low- or medium-viscosity cement. Unfortunately, joint implant failure causes even further bone loss for the patient, making any revision surgery attempts dangerous, with a much lower success rate and higher risks and complication rates.

The reason the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved high viscosity cement was because its manufacturers claimed it was “substantially equivalent” to low- and medium viscosity cements, meaning they had no requirement to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of high viscosity cement under the FDA’s 510(k) fast-track approval process.

Have You Suffered from Bone Cement-Induced Injuries? We Can Help.

If you have been affected from bone cement-induced injuries, including bone cement implantation syndrome, it is in your best interest to seek out legal counsel to recover compensation for pain and suffering.

At Metzger Wickersham, we’re experienced mass tort attorneys who have successfully represented numerous victims of defective medical devices. We have a no-fee guarantee – if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay a single dime.

If you’ve suffered from bone cement-induced injuries, you deserve justice. We can help you. Contact us today at Metzger Wickersham for a free consultation at (888) 286-2850. We’re available by phone 24/7.

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