What is the B. Braun Aesculap Knee Replacement?
The Aesculap knee is a ceramic-coated implant that is designed to eliminate the toxic shedding of metal debris within the body associated with bare metal implants. The device is marketed as featuring an “advanced surface” that is superior and longer-lasting than traditional knee replacements. Like many newer knee implants, the B. Braun Aesculap knee was fast-tracked via the Food & Drug Administration’s 510(k) pre-market program, which expedites approval of certain medical devices that are “substantially equivalent” to devices already on the market.
Aesculap Knee Systems
Our lawyers are reviewing potential lawsuits for people suffered complications following knee replacement surgery with the following implants:
- VEGA System
- Columbus Knee System
- Advanced Surface Technology
- Univation X
- Columbus AS Revision Knee System
- EnduRo AS Knee Revision System
Aesculap Class Action Filed in California, Pennsylvania
A recent lawsuit filed in California on behalf of 25 knee replacement patients alleges that B. Braun concealed from regulators problems with its Aesculap artificial knee implant and promoted the device, despite knowing it was prone to early failure and other adverse health consequences. The complaint further alleges that Aesculap ceramic joints are defective because they don’t adhere properly to cement used to bond them with the patient’s bones. Plaintiffs claim they were or will be required to undergo painful revision surgery and other procedures to correct problems caused by the B. Braun Aesculap knee implant.
Specifically, the suit alleges that Aesculap’s ceramic coating causes moisture to collect between the implant and the bone cement, resulting in the implants loosening and/or failing prematurely. Most knee implant removal surgeries require the use of a saw to cut through the bone cement; however, in patients who received the Aesculap device, surgeons found “the implant components were easily removed by hand, using just two fingers, or after a single mallet strike,” according to the lawsuit. In many cases, these artificial knee joints were allegedly removed with no cement attached.
B. Braun and its Aesculap subsidiary have responded to these allegations by blaming the failure of its ceramic knee on the brand of bone cement used to implant it, the use of cement containing antibiotics, and the surgeons’ cementing technique. However, the companies failed to include specific instructions with the implants regarding the type of bone cement to be used, or the specific technique required to be used by surgeons to implant the device correctly.
The original lawsuit was thrown out after Aesculap challenged whether Los Angeles Superior Court had jurisdiction over the case. It was refiled in 2018 in Pennsylvania, home state of at least 3 of the plaintiffs. That litigation is currently pending. The lawsuit is: Cocco et al. vs. Aesculap Implant Systems, Inc. et al., Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 180301197.
Knee Replacement Complications
- Severe knee pain / swelling
- Swelling / stiffness across the entire knee (generalized)
- Infection of the wound
- Unexpected bleeding
- Knee implant rejection
- Bone fractures
- Ligament / artery / nerve damage
- Metal poisoning (metallosis)
- Revision Surgery
- And more
Has There Been a Recall?
To date, none of the Aesculap knee replacement devices have been recalled. However, there have been numerous complaints filed with the FDA describing problems with these devices. These include:
- “Failure – massive bone, loosening tibia and femur. Total knee replacement.”
- “Failed total knee cement loosening global failure tibia first revised.”
- “Total knee loosening 80 femur 90% tibia, revised. Pt refuses to revise at this time.”
- “Delamination cement loose implants result and failure right. Tibial loosening followed by global failure from cement failing to adhere.”
- “Right total knee failure, fixation failure, cement debonded right side. Loose tibia, unstable implant. Global failure of entire construct, revised. Loosening tibia, global failure total knee left side, revised.”
Knee Replacement Recovery
Most knee replacement patients are encouraged to begin ambulation the same day as their surgery, with the aid of a walker or crutches. The typical hospital stay is 1 to 2 days. Patients who require extra medical attention or who do not have home support may be transferred from the hospital to a rehabilitation center.
Alternatives to Knee Replacement
If you are a candidate for knee replacement surgery but are concerned about the risks, there are several alternatives you may want to talk to your doctor about:
- Physical therapy — Knee problems typically make the knee joint painful and stiff. Consulting with a physical therapist can increase strength of the muscles supporting the knee and reduce pain by using ice and heat, electrical nerve stimulation, and other therapies.
- Medications — There are numerous prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) that can be effective in reducing the pain, swelling and stiffness caused by knee problems.
- Injections — Patients who continue to have pain from knee arthritis after trying medications and physical therapy may be administered a corticosteroid injection, which can drastically reduce the inflammation, pain and swelling associated with knee arthritis.
- Arthroscopic surgery — Minimally invasive type of knee surgery performed with a camera inserted through small incisions. Arthroscopy can be used to repair cartilage or meniscus tears inside the knee, or to remove bone or cartilage fragments. This type of surgery could delay or eliminate the need for total knee replacement surgery.
Do I Have an Aesculap Knee Lawsuit?
The Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Aesculap Knee Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one had complications from knee replacement surgery, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.