High-Viscosity Cement (HVC) Failure

Total knee replacements (TKR) are a common surgery to restore mobility for many patients. The Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons estimates that 90% of TKA surgeries are successful in reducing knee pain and helping patients regain mobility. Unfortunately, a small percentage of TKR surgeries fail due to poor adhesion of high-viscosity cement (HVC), resulting in more pain and frustration for the affected patients. Our team at Harman Law Firm can help those with high-viscosity cement (HVC) failure after TKR surgery to explore their legal options for compensation.

There are many risks with any surgery, including total knee replacements. Not all patients who undergo TKR surgery have the expected results, and there are possible complications. These risks and complications should be discussed with the patient before the procedure. One complication that can be prevented is problems resulting from the type of surgical cement used. High-viscosity cement is often used due to the shorter preparation time compared to other types of surgical cement. While it can save time during surgery, some patients have experienced premature failure of their knee replacement due to the poor performance of this type of surgical cement.

HVC Failure and Total Knee Replacements

High-viscosity cement (HVC) or other types of surgical cement are used to secure the prosthetic knee implants to the femur and tibia in the patient. Like all cement, dry powder and water are mixed and must activate before it can be used. Compared to other types of surgical cement, HVC is quicker to mix and activate, allowing it to be applied in less time than other options. This can shorten the length of surgery, making it a convenient choice for orthopedic surgeons.

The concern with HVC over other surgical cement is that it may not offer the same strength or longevity. The cement could begin to crumble, resulting in cement debris in the knee joint that causes irritation and pain. In some cases, knee implants secured in place with HVC become loose, causing premature failure of the surgery. Symptoms of a loose knee implant due to high-viscosity cement (HVC) failure include:

  • Increased and unusual knee swelling
  • The knee joint feels loose or unstable
  • Persistent or chronic knee pain
  • Reduced range of motion

If the knee implant is no longer secure or performing correctly due to surgical cement failure, it may require a revision knee replacement surgery. This can be a painful, complex and difficult surgery, even more so than the original TKR surgery. Removing the implant can destroy some of the bone on either the tibia or femur. To replace the knee joint implant, bone grafting and other alterations may be needed to replace lost bone. The patient must endure the surgery recovery process again and start over with rehabilitation. It is a costly, painful and frustrating ordeal that may have been prevented with the use of a more reliable surgical cement.

Did You Undergo Revision TKR Surgery Due to HVC Failure?

If you had a knee implant fail due to loosening caused by high-viscosity cement (HVC) and needed revision TKR surgery, you might have legal options. In some cases, patients can seek compensation for medical bills, income loss and pain and suffering caused by the use of inferior surgical cement during TKR surgery. Our team at Harman Law Firm offers free consultations for those who have suffered from a premature failure of their knee implant due to the use of HVC in their TKR surgery. Contact our office in Atlanta to talk to one of our team members to discuss your legal claim.