In October of 2015, two global medical device companies, Wright Medical Technology, Inc. and Tornier, Inc. completed a merger and created a mid-size orthopedic company focusing on extremities and biologics. Many considered the merger a bold, smart and promising move, unaware, of course, that not long after, the newly formed company’s shoulder replacement device will be proven faulty and result to the company facing legal issues due to their product causing metal poisoning, bone and tissue damage, and implantation failure.
Records from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality show that about 53,000 people in the U.S. have shoulder replacement surgery every year. This surgical procedure involves the removal of damaged parts of the shoulder to replace them with an artificial device, known as prosthesis. This device is either made from metal or durable plastic. Orthopedists recommend shoulder replacement surgery to patients whose extreme shoulder pain or limited range of shoulder motion cannot be treated through non-surgical means or more conservative methods.
Shoulder pain and reduced shoulder function are usually due to osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis), rotator cuff tear arthropathy, severe shoulder fracture or failed previously performed shoulder replacement surgery. Though restoration of shoulder motion, strength and function are expected benefits of a shoulder replacement surgery, these are only secondary outcomes; the surgery’s primary goal is relieve patients of their pain.
While many have benefited greatly from a shoulder replacement surgery, some even being able to return to the sports that they love, the same cannot be said of those who have been implanted with a Wright/Tornier shoulder replacement implant. For, rather than experiencing the promised relief from pain and restoration of shoulder motion, the pains have only increased plus, since the device is said to have failed soon after implant, there may be a need for a revision surgery and the removal of the implant altogether. These outcomes from the use of a Wright/Tornier shoulder replacement device, as explained by Williams Kherkher, is simply inexcusable, making these grounds for patients to fight for damages from the manufacturers.Read More