Cartiva Big Toe Joint Implant Lawsuit

The most common arthritic condition of the foot is that which affects the base of the big toe, also known as hallux rigidus. Big toe arthritis is a painful condition that affects 1 in 40 people over the age of 50. Sometimes, due to the unbearable pain, patients may opt for toe fusion surgery, but this fuses the joints into one large joint and limits mobility. The Cartiva Big Toe Joint Implant serves as an alternative to toe fusion surgery, and it does not limit movement within the joint. However, physicians and patients have reported that the joint implant results in further toe issues and injuries. Reach out today to learn about how a Cartiva big toe joint implant lawsuit can benefit you.

Our law firm is currently handling lawsuits on behalf of patients who have received Cartiva toe implants to treat arthritis. Cartiva implants may sink into the adjacent bone, causing implant failure, pain, and injury to the patient.

What is a Cartiva Big Toe Joint Implant?

Patients receive the Cartiva implant to treat arthritis in the big toe and relieve friction caused by worn-down cartilage. This device consists of a small cylindrical plug derived from polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which mimics natural cartilage. Medical professionals insert the synthetic implant in the great toe joint through an opening in the metatarsal head during a minimally invasive procedure. It acts like regular cartilage and allows the patient to freely move the joint as opposed to toe fusion surgery. With a Cartiva big toe joint implant, patients should be able to painlessly perform everyday activities as they would with a normal toe joint. Before its introduction to the market, researchers conducted extensive testing on the Cartiva implant in order to receive clearance from the FDA. The original studies indicated that the device successfully treated arthritis, and patients reported relief and satisfaction with the results.

Cartiva Failure Linked to Defective Design

Wright Medical Group acquired Cartiva and its big toe joint implant in 2018 for $435 million and expected success comparable to the implant’s positive clinical trials. However, reports quickly surfaced that doctors could not replicate the effective results of past studies. Therefore, many doctors grew weary of recommending or using the Cartiva implant. Surgeons vastly reduced their demand for the Cartiva implants due to complaints of:

  • Motion issues
  • Post-operative pain
  • Subsidence (implant caving into the bone)

Experts at the University Foot & Ankle Institute speculate the failure of Cartiva implants may be directly linked to a faulty design mechanism that leads to the implant slipping into the bone. The exceptionally smooth surface of the implant may create a functional flaw as many implants require some irregularity in the surface material. Additionally, the supporting bone may be too weak to provide adequate support for the implant. It is unclear how much force can be applied to the implant without impeding its ability to function properly. Many surgeons have warned against a Cartiva toe implant as the manufacturer has not addressed or remedied these defects.

Cartiva Big Toe Joint Implant Injuries

When Cartiva implants fail, they can cause severe pain and discomfort and may even require revision surgery. By 2018, the FDA received approximately 144 adverse event reports related to the Cartiva big toe joint implant. Patients with defective implants have experienced:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Implant fracture
  • Osteolysis
  • Cysts
  • Joint removal

What Do We Know About Cartiva Big Toe Joint Implant Lawsuits?

While the study outcomes were positive, many physicians did not see the same results in their practices. The Cartiva implant is prone to failure when it slips into the bone, also known as subsidence. Upon returning for follow-up visits, many surgeons reported that the implant had sunk into the patient’s bone. Patients have reported a failure rate of 64% rather than the 13.5% produced in manufacturers’ clinical studies. The high rate of device failure has prompted surgeons to stop using the Cartiva and to warn patients about the potential for failure. Lawsuits allege companies were aware of the higher failure rates and risks but misled the public about the efficacy of the implants.

In October 2022, a Texas resident filed a product liability lawsuit against big toe joint implant manufacturers Cartiva Inc., Wright Medical Group, and Stryker. The plaintiff, Cathy Atkinson, explains she received the Cartiva SCI toe implant in November 2018. However, she alleges the defective implant did not alleviate her pain or restore her range of motion. In fact, Atkinson required costly revision surgery to remove the implant and additional fusion surgery to correct the bone loss and deformity caused by the faulty big toe joint implant.

Can I Recover Compensation in a Cartiva Big Toe Joint Implant Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one suffered further complications after receiving a Cartiva implant, you may qualify for a Cartiva big toe joint implant lawsuit. Our law firm can help potentially help you recover compensation for: 

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Past and future pain and suffering;
  • Loss of wages; and 
  • Other economic losses related to your injury

Manufacturers hailed the Cartiva big toe joint implant as a preferable alternative to joint fusion surgery. Although patients hoped to find solace from their arthritic discomforts while maintaining their mobility, lawsuits allege the Cartiva implant heightened the pain and worsened their condition. Plaintiffs argue that a faulty design and misleading claims caused them to seek revision surgery after receiving a Cartiva implant. Undergoing a second surgery can be a difficult and disheartening experience, especially after trusting the implant to provide much-needed relief. Consider enlisting the help of one of our knowledgeable attorneys to increase your chance for a successful outcome in your Cartiva big toe joint implant lawsuit.

How Our Law Firm Can Help You

The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 274-0139 or submit an inquiry on this page.