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It’s possible a knee replacement could fail

You never want to hear the bad news that you need to undergo knee replacement surgery. Even if you realize this can change your life for the better, it's a major procedure that is sure to bring forth a variety of challenges.

Fortunately, if everything goes as planned, a knee replacement will perform well for as long as 20 years.

Conversely, if something goes wrong along the way, it's possible the knee replacement could fail. At that point, you'll need to look into your options for making things right as quickly as possible.

Here are some of the primary reasons why a knee replacement fails:

  • Wear and loosening as time goes by
  • Fracture
  • Infection
  • Instability, such as if the tissue around the knee is too weak
  • Stiffness

While all of these things are a concern, it's good to know that your medical team can help you take steps to avoid trouble. For example, physical therapy before and after your surgery can go a long way in preventing instability and stiffness.

Along with the above, there's something else to remember: Your medical team could use a defective knee replacement device. Again, you do your best to protect against this, but it's something to think about.

If you come to find that this is causing your pain and discomfort, you need to consult with your original medical team as well as anyone else who can help fix the problem.

Also, you'll want to learn more about your legal rights. The decision to use a defective knee replacement has put you in a bad position, so you may be able to take action against your doctor and/or the manufacturer of the device.

Source: Hospital for Special Surgery, "Five Reasons Why Knee Replacements Fail," accessed March 16, 2018

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