Zimmer Hip Implants

Hip replacement surgery is supposed to give patients renewed mobility and relief from pain when their natural hip joints fail. Hip implants  used to be reserved for older patients who were less active and therefore less likely experience implants failure. Today, younger people need a solution for serious hip problems and baby boomers are staying active as they get older.

The Zimmer artificial hip component was designed to last in younger, more active patients, but fell short of expectations. Zimmer hip implants have a high failure rate, some say as high as 24%, and many patients have had to have these defective hip implants replaced within two years of implantation.

Temporary Suspension of Sales in 2008

In 2008, Zimmer Holdings temporarily suspended sales of its Durom Cup hip implant component due to a high failure rate. Zimmer claimed that the problem was not with the Durom Cup itself, but with the surgical technique. The Zimmer Durom Cup went on the market in 2006 and by the time sales were suspended it had been placed in over 12,000 patients in the U.S.

Zimmer only suspended sales of the hip implant briefly, so that it could update the instructions for implanting the device and surgeons could get special training.

Zimmer Hip Implant Injuries

Zimmer hip implants were supposed to last 15 to 20 years, giving young, active hip replacement patients a new lease on life and a worry-free solution to their hip problems. The hip implant component was supposed to fuse to the bone. Instead, the replacement hips were loosening. They were not fusing in place properly. Loose hip implants can cause the following injuries:

  • Necessary replacement and revision surgery
  • Severe pain
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty walking

Patients with failing hip implants are not better off than they were before surgery, and sometimes even more disabled.

When hip implants fail they must be replaced in a procedure called revision surgery. Hip implant revision surgery is more dangerous than an original hip replacement surgery, recovery is more painful and takes longer, and there is an elevated risk of dangerous or deadly infection.

Surgeons Revealed the Problem

An orthopedic surgeon discovered that there was a problem with Zimmer hip implants after observing a high failure rate in his patients. He alerted Zimmer to the problem with the hip implant, but the company dismissed him, claiming that the problem was with his technique, not the device.

In 2008, the Zimmer hip implant failure issue was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. It was only after the surgeons went public with evidence of defective Zimmer hip implants that the company decided to conduct its own investigation.

If you received a Zimmer hip implant and have suffered with pain, disability or the need for revision surgery, you may be entitled to compensation. Please schedule a consultation with a local Zimmer hip implant attorney right away to learn more.