Denver Bone Cement Lawsuit Lawyers
Polymethyl methacrylate, also known as bone cement, is commonly used in joint replacement procedures, including hip, knee, shoulder, and elbow replacement. It works by fastening a prosthetic to the patient’s bones. The cement functions as a filler agent to hold the implant snugly against the bone. It must be carefully prepared by medical providers to ensure the correct consistency for the procedure. Once inserted, bone cement eventually hardens over the implant to hold it securely in place.
Serious complications can develop when bone cement is used in joint replacement procedures, including:
- Aseptic loosening: This condition can occur with fragmentation of bone cement, or when the bond to the bone is disconnected. The implant becomes loose and wobbly, which can lead to swelling in the joint, poor range of motion, and chronic pain. When aseptic loosening occurs, revision surgery is required to correct the problem.
- Cement leakage: There have been instances of bone cement used in joint replacement procedures leaking into surrounding tissue, veins, and nerves. In a recent study, a patient’s chest pain was discovered to be caused by four inches of bone cement that had somehow found its way into his heart, as reported by Science Times. A week before this patient was admitted to the hospital for chest pain and difficulty breathing, he had undergone a spinal procedure in which bone cement was injected into certain areas of his spine to treat a vertebral compression fracture.
- Bone Cement Implantation Syndrome (BCIS): This life-threatening condition can occur shortly after bone cement is applied at the surgical site. It involves bone marrow, fat, and bone cement entering the bloodstream and restricting blood flow in the arteries. Symptoms of BCIS may include oxygen deprivation, blood clots, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, pulmonary vascular resistance, cardiac arrhythmia, and cardiac arrest.
A guidance document for the use of bone cement was issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this publication, the agency warns of serious health risks associated with bone cement and provides guidelines for measures to be taken by medical professionals to mitigate these risks. Bone cement health risks identified by the FDA include:
- Infection and fever
- Problems with setting the cement
- Loosening or migration of the device
- Adverse tissue reaction
- Pain and/or loss of function
- Revision surgery
In addition to FDA warnings, a report on the occurrence of BCIS was published in the British Medical Journals (BMJ). Researchers found a high incidence of death or severe harm associated with the use of bone cement in hip replacement surgery – one in 2,900.
Doctors and healthcare providers can be held liable for medical negligence that causes harm to a patient. Negligence occurs when the treatment provided falls below the standard of care – the level at which similarly qualified practitioners would have managed the patient’s care under the same or similar circumstances. A manufacturer may be held responsible in a product liability claim if injury to the patient was caused by a defect in the bone cement itself.
If you have been injured through negligence in a procedure in which bone cement was used, you may be entitled to recover compensation. Damages may include your medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other losses. Contact Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906. We can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to claim.