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Exactech Facing More Lawsuits Concerning Its Optetrak and Connexion Implants

Two more plaintiffs have filed new Exactech joint implant lawsuits in Texas and South Carolina. Both claim that the implants are defective and caused them to suffer from serious injuries.

These lawsuits follow on the heels of a recent Exactech recall affecting over 140,000 joint implants. The company’s polyethylene inserts were packaged in non-standard bags, which could cause them to break down prematurely.

Plaintiff Claims Exactech Knee Replacement Defective

The first plaintiff filed her Exactech lawsuit on April 15, 2022, in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia division. She claims that in 2017, she underwent total knee replacement surgery on her left and right knees. Her surgeon implanted the Exactech Optetrak knee devices, which included the recalled polyethylene inserts.

Only three years later, the plaintiff suffered from limited mobility and pain. Her surgeon determined that she needed revision surgery on the right knee and performed that surgery in 2020. The surgeon noted, according to the complaint, “extreme deterioration of the polyethylene tray component. The degree of deterioration resulted in a complete failure of the defective device, requiring total replacement.”

Exactech was aware of the problems associated with this device long before recalling it. In the 2016 Australian Registry Annual Report, the revision rates with the Optetrak device were found to be significantly higher than expected. When compared to other similar devices, it was found to have the second-worst mean percent failure rate at three years and was tied for the worst failure rate at five years.

The plaintiff brings counts of negligence, violations of the South Carolina unfair trade practices act, strict products liability, negligent representation, fraudulent concealment, and breach of warranties.

Plaintiff Claims Exactech Connextion GXL Liner Implant Failed Prematurely

The second plaintiff filed her Exactech lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas division. This lawsuit concerns the Exactech Connexion GXL Liner hip implant.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff underwent a total hip replacement on November 11, 2013. Her surgeon implanted the Connexion GXL device.

Then on May 14, 2020, the plaintiff had to undergo revision surgery on that implant. Her surgeon determined that the device sustained “catastrophic poly wear” and “metallosis,” which refers to systemic metal poisoning.

The surgeon noted in his operative report that the plaintiff had “significant metallosis throughout her hip” and that the head of the device “had completely worn out the polyethylene.”

It was unusual to have to replace the implant this soon—after about 6.5 years. Typically, hip implants are meant to last between 10 and 20 years, with The Lancet reporting in a 2019 study that surgeons can expect a hip replacement to last 25 years in around 58 percent of patients.

The plaintiff claims that the Exactech Connexion GXL Liner implant was defective and unreasonably dangerous and that the manufacturer did not adequately test it to make sure there were no defects nor did they provide consumers with the appropriate warnings.

She seeks compensatory damages, including loss of earning capacity, disfigurement, and impairment.

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