The problem with a failed shoulder implant, unlike a hip or knee implant, is that the surgeon cannot simply remove the failed implant and insert another implant into the patient's body. There is very little bone to use on the shoulder side (scapula) during the initial surgery and even less available on a revision. Therefore, shoulder replacements are very difficult to perform when compared with a hip or knee implant.
Surgeons must be very careful when implanting these devices because when a shoulder replacement device fails, the results can be catastrophic.
Most of the shoulder replacement components like the Zimmer Biomet models are affixed to the scapula using screws about the same width as the patient's bone. When the device fails, the surgeon must go back in during the revision surgery and remove the device and the screws. Once removed, there is even less bone for the surgeon to use when implanting a second shoulder replacement. Even if successful, the second shoulder implant will normally not last as long and, in many ways, it is doomed to fail early due to a lack of useful bone.
Revision Surgery Risks for Recalled Zimmer Biomet Shoulder Implant
The Zimmer Biomet reverse shoulder implant was recalled due to a high risk of fractures linked to the device's baseplate component. During the revision surgery for these defective shoulder implants, the surgeon must remove the entire baseplate and screws to replace the device. Long-term prognosis for patients undergoing a revision of this nature are grim.
Help for Victims of Defective Shoulder Replacement Implants in Kentucky
If you or a loved one suffered a failed shoulder implant or recently had an implant and just have questions, contact our Louisville-based injury law firm for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced legal team can help you determine if you had one of the recalled shoulder implants and explain your options for recovering compensation from the device manufacturer.