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Knee Replacement Complication: Loosening of the Device

knee replacement complications

Total knee replacements, often referred to as TKR or TKA (total knee arthroplasty), are fairly common procedures today with almost 600,000 performed each year. However, there are some serious complications you should be aware of that can occur a year or more after the procedure has been done.

Reasons for Knee Replacement Failure

There are five primary reasons why a knee replacement fails.

  • Wear and loosening
  • Infection
  • Fractures around the knee implant
  • Instability
  • Stiffness

The most serious knee replacement complications include infection and loosening. These can occur weeks after your surgery or up to a year or more afterward.

Loosening of a Knee Implant Device

Loosening is a natural occurrence over time; however, it typically doesn’t manifest for several years. If a device is faulty or poorly designed, loosening can occur in less than a year.

Loosening is one of the most common complications resulting from a faulty knee implant device. This occurs when the components of the device begin to separate from the bone. Soft tissue instead of bone can grow between the device’s components and the bones, creating instability in the joint.

 “Although implants are firmly fixed at the initial knee replacement surgery, they may become loose over time. Friction caused by the joint surfaces rubbing against each other wears away the surface of the implant, creating tiny particles that accumulate around the joint.  …  When the prosthesis becomes loose, the patient may experience pain, change in alignment or instability. Aseptive loosening is the most common mode of failure of knee implants.” 

Questions? Our knowledgeable staff is available at (877) 284-6600.

FDA Adverse Events Reporting

Currently, the FDA allows manufacturers to release knee implant devices under its 510(k) premarket program. This allows devices to be released without any testing as long as the product is similar to products already on the market.

The FDA does track complications resulting from a device labeling them “adverse events.” If you experience adverse effects, you should report it to the FDA by filling out a MedWatch form.

Complications from faulty implants can lead to:

  • Loosening or fracture of the device components
  • Joint instability and dislocation
  • Components misalignment and breakdown
  • Nerve damage
  • Bone fracture
  • Swelling and joint pain

Do you need Legal Assistance? Receive a Free Evaluation from Experienced Attorneys

If you or a family member suffers from adverse effects from a failed knee replacement, contact our legal team in Kansas City. The attorneys at Nash & Franciskato offer a free, no-obligation case review to individuals who have suffered complications allegedly associated with failed knee implant systems. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.


Past results afford no guarantee of future results and each case is different and is judged on its own merits. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

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