Stryker is a manufacturer of various medical devices, including knee replacement systems. Athletes in need of a knee replacement may be drawn by the name alone toward Stryker’s “Triathlon” series of artificial knees. The Triathlon knee is marketed by Stryker as an extremely durable device which closely mimics the natural motion of the knee.
Problems with Triathlon Knees
But, recently there have been reported problems with Triathlon knee patients. Complaints include chronic pain, limited mobility, joint instability, loosening or failure of the device. Some patients have even required subsequent surgery to replace the implant.
ShapeMatch Cutting Guide
Interestingly, the problems have not necessarily been caused by the implants themselves. Rather, difficulties seem to arise in cases in which a particular form of instrumentation called the ShapeMatch was used during the implant surgery. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the ShapeMatch, a cutting guide used to help the surgeon determine the proper place to cut existing bone and insert the artificial knee, was recalled in April of 2013. The FDA also notes that surgeons were instructed to stop using the ShapeMatch in November of 2012.
Today, patients who were fitted with a Triathlon knee between May 2011 and November 2012 (the dates the ShapeMatch was in use) may wonder if problems they are having with their knee are due to the surgeon’s use of a defective ShapeMatch guide or due to some other cause. Unfortunately, the medical records do not always clearly note the use of ShapeMatch since it is merely an instrument, and not an implanted component itself.
But if the problems are due to a defective product, legal recourse to recover any damages incurred may be an option.
Patients with the Triathlon knee who are experiencing symptoms should follow up with their surgeon right away.