Exactech Knee and Ankle Implants

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Knee and ankle implants are supposed to help those who have been injured or who have suffered from arthritis regain their normal lives. Arthroplasty, or joint replacement surgery, replaces worn out joints and ligaments with implants that are supposed to last for decades. Exactech, headquartered in Gainesville, Florida, recalled knee and ankle replacements due to a problem with the packaging of the polyethylene liner that could make the implant wear out sooner than expected. This resulted in the need for revision surgery earlier than would otherwise be necessary.

Those who have an arthroplasty to replace a joint should be able to trust that their implants should last as long as the surgeon told them they would. Instead, thousands of patients might have to replace their implants much sooner, having to undergo a revision surgery that, like all surgeries, comes with at least some amount of risk.

ankle implant exactech graphic

Exactech recalled devices provided to patients between 2004 and 2022. That’s 18 years of time in which they could have discovered the problem, but the implants with the packaging issue weren’t recalled until 2022. If you have had problems with a knee or ankle implant or have had to have revision surgery due to a recalled Exactech implant, don’t hesitate to contact Farah & Farah for a free consultation. You won’t have to pay a dime unless your case is successful.

Who Is Exactech?

Exactech, Inc., is a company that manufactures medical devices, including implants as well as surgical tools. The surgical instruments that the Gainesville-based company manufactures are typically related to the orthopedic implants that they manufacture.

Exactech and TPG Capital Merger

Exactech, Inc. was founded in 1985 and merged with its now-parent company, TPG Capital, in 2018. TPG Capital is an investment and private equity company that used to be named Texas Pacific Group.

Where Are Exactech Headquarters?

Exactech, Inc. is currently headquartered in Gainesville, Florida, at 2320 NW 66th Court Gainesville, Florida 32653 – not far from the Farah & Farah Gainesville Office.

What Else Does Exactech Do?

Exactech is also known for its Active Intelligence platform, which connects surgeons and doctors with surgical tools that can help them better optimize performance, patient outcomes, and engagement with fellow professionals.

What Are Exactech Knee and Ankle Implants?

Exactech manufactures orthopedic implants, which are designed to take the place of cartilage, bones, or joints. These implants are meant to help those who have experienced a deformity or damage to a specific joint, bone, or cartilage. Implants can be used to replace or repair any of the following:

The type of implant required depends on the damage that necessitated the implant in the first place as well as where the damage is located.

Knee Implant

A knee implant is a medical device that replaces part or all of a knee, in particular those parts that carry most of the weight of the body while standing or walking. This is because these are the parts most likely to be subject to wear and tear or damage that would necessitate a replacement. A total knee replacement is an implant that completely replaces the components of the knee.

Components of a Knee Implant

A knee replacement has four primary components:

Who Needs a Knee or Ankle Implant?

Knee and ankle implants are needed by anyone who either has a disability or has experienced damage of some kind to those joints. An arthroplasty, or a surgery that restores a joint to its normal levels of functionality, often by replacing components in the joint. A knee arthroplasty can be a knee replacement surgery, for example. Sometimes, damage necessitating a knee or ankle replacement can be the result of an injury. Commonly, however, a knee or ankle implant is a treatment for arthritis. Your doctor will tell you if they think that arthroplasty is right for you.

Who Shouldn’t Get Arthroplasty

Sometimes, a joint replacement isn’t the right treatment option for a patient. People who are involved in particularly active sports, for example, might not be the best candidates for ankle or knee replacements due to the higher likelihood of wearing out the implant more quickly than usual. If your doctor is recommending an arthroplasty to you, make sure to tell your doctor all about your lifestyle so that they know how it might impact an implant.

healthy knee vs osteoarthritis knee

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis occurs when at least one joint in the body experiences swelling and tenderness. There are different kinds of arthritis that affect different parts of the body in different ways. Arthritis typically worsens over time as you get older. The most common symptoms are pain and stiffness in the affected joints.

Types of Arthritis

The types of arthritis include:

Of these types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common. Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the fingers and the wrists, while osteoarthritis is more common in the knees and ankles.

Symptoms of Arthritis

The symptoms of arthritis include the following:

The symptoms may vary between different types of arthritis, but the above symptoms are common for all types of arthritis.

Causes of Arthritis

Arthritis is usually caused by joint inflammation. In some types of arthritis, like osteoarthritis, arthritis can be caused by an injury to the affected joint.

Risk Factors of Arthritis

Some people are more at risk of developing arthritis than others are. The risk factors that can increase the chances of developing arthritis include the following:

The risk of developing any kind of arthritis increases with age. Gender can also impact the risk of developing arthritis and is different depending on the type of arthritis. Women are more at risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more likely to get gout. People who have relatives with arthritis are more likely to develop it themselves because some types can run in a family. Obesity puts a lot of stress on your joints, so people who are obese are also more at risk for arthritis. Similarly, an injury to a joint also weakens that joint and increases the risk of later developing arthritis there.

Complications of Arthritis

Fortunately, arthritis isn’t life-threatening. However, it can severely impact someone’s quality of life by impeding their ability to perform their normal, daily activities. In some severe cases, arthritis can deform certain joints. If the arthritis is in joints that bear weight, it can make it difficult to sit up straight, stand, or walk.

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when the cartilage that protects the bones from rubbing against each other wears down. This cartilage is located at the ends of bones and cushions them. When it breaks down over time, it can result in pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and there are millions of people across the world who suffer from it. Fortunately, it can typically be managed by medical treatments, weight management, and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.

Osteoarthritis can affect any joints in the body, but most commonly impacts the following:

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Typically, the symptoms of osteoarthritis are slow to develop. They start out mild and then over time they get worse. The potential symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is caused by the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones from rubbing against each other breaking down over time. Cartilage is tissue that is both firm and slippery and it’s how your joints move smoothly with little friction. It also cushions the ends of your bones so that they don’t come into contact with each other. If the cartilage has worn down and deteriorated, then the ends of the bones aren’t protected and can rub against each other, which inhibits smooth movement and can cause pain. As a result, the ends of the bones can often wear down as well. On top of that, the tissues connecting muscle to the bones can wear down and the entire joint can become inflamed.

total knee replacement exactech

Risk Factors of Osteoarthritis

There are certain factors that can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis. These risk factors include:

Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men are, although it’s unknown exactly why. Older people are more at risk than those who are younger, as are those who have relatives with osteoarthritis. Obesity, injury to the affected joint, and sports that put repeated stress on that joint are all factors that can increase the risk of osteoarthritis because they put more stress and wear and tear on the joint.

Complications of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can get worse gradually over time. This means that as time goes on, the condition will worsen and the negative effects it has on your ability to perform daily tasks and activities will increase. It will also most likely get more painful, to the point where walking normally may become difficult. Sleep can get disrupted due to the pain and stiffness in the joints.

Exactech Knee and Ankle Implant Recalls

At the beginning of 2022, Exactech, Inc. issued a recall from its headquarters in Gainesville, FL for certain knee and ankle replacements. The recall was issued because the company had discovered the packaging for the polyethylene insert in its knee and ankle implants wasn’t in specification. This means that oxygen could get into the polyethylene insert prior to its implantation in the knee or ankle. If enough oxygen gets into the polyethylene insert, it can result in oxidation occurring in the implant, which can then cause the implant to wear out much more quickly than it would otherwise.

Which Knee and Ankle Implants Are Affected?

Exactech has recalled implants that contain the Exactech Knee and Ankle Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, which include:

The affected knee and ankle implants were manufactured between 2004 and 2022.

What Is the Recall Process?

Exactech posted instructions on their website. Patients whose implants were impacted by the recall may also have received communication from their surgeon or the hospital or clinic where the surgery was performed. Doctors were to request that patients come in for a follow-up appointment to determine whether their implant was wearing out more quickly due to oxidation. If so, a revision surgery may need to be scheduled in order to replace the affected components. Patients whose implants required replacement can file a claim for reimbursement of costs on Exactech’s recall website.

What Is Revision Surgery?

Revision surgery is surgery that is performed again to correct a problem that has already been corrected by a previous surgery. For some surgeries, this is to correct a mistake or if the previous surgery had failed. In the case of an arthroplasty, a revision surgery is typically to replace an implant that has worn out. In the case of Exactech’s recalled implants, revision surgery may be required to replace the polyethylene liner that has oxidized and worn down. The entire implant may need to be replaced.

Symptoms of Implant Failure

If an implant has worn down and failed and is in need of replacement can include:

Risks of Revision Surgery

There’s always a risk with any surgical procedure. If a revision surgery is required to replace an implant, the patient has to face those risks twice. Plus, with each subsequent revision surgery, the implant may not last as long. On top of that, the surgeon may need to wear away even more of the bone and other tissues in the joint in order to attach the new implant.

Exactech Knee and Ankle Implant Lawsuits

The problem with Exactech’s polyethylene liner packaging has been ongoing since 2004. There are thousands of Americans who could have had problems with their knee or ankle replacements due to the discovered packaging fault, who experienced pain and suffering or who needed additional surgery because of the packaging issue during the 18 years the polyethylene liner was used. Thousands of patients may have needed revision surgery to address Exactech knee and ankle implant issues, and this undoubtedly affects many Gainesville residents, right in the city of their own headquarters.

Because of this, patients are filing lawsuits against Exactech because their implants had failed prematurely. If you received a knee or ankle implant by Exactech between the years 2004 and 2022 that has been recalled due to the packaging issue with the polyethylene lining, you may be eligible for compensation.

First, consult with your doctor to determine that it was the recalled liner that caused any issues that you experienced with your implant, especially if you had revision surgery because the original implant with the defective liner wore out more quickly than anticipated. If you have had revision surgery or other problems with your knee or ankle implant because the polyethylene liner oxidized, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

Do I Have a Exactech Case?

First, consult with your doctor to determine that it was the recalled liner that caused any issues that you experienced with your implant, especially if you had revision surgery because the original implant with the defective liner wore out more quickly than anticipated. If you have had revision surgery or other problems with your knee or ankle implant because the polyethylene liner oxidized, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

Farah & Farah has a Gainesville office located at 1511 NW 6th Street Gainesville, FL 32601, only 12 minutes from the Exactech, Inc. headquarters at 2320 NW 66th Court Gainesville, Florida 32653. Farah & Farah is representing Gainesville patients and all those who suffered from Exactech’s failure to identify the problem sooner. You won’t have to pay anything unless your case is successful.

Eddie Farah and Chuck Farah meeting with attorney Rick Staggard