Zimmer Holdings, Inc. is a major manufacturer of orthopedic implants, including knee, shoulder, elbow, foot, and hip replacement parts and devices. Zimmer released its Durom Cup hip implant, also known as the Durom Acetabular Component, in 2006. After only two years on the market, Zimmer suspended the sale of the Durom Cup hip implant due to the filing of numerous complaints by doctors and patients’ claiming the product was failing prematurely.
If you or a loved one experienced pain and suffering from a Zimmer Durom hip cup implant, contact defective medical device lawyer Chris Dixon immediately to discuss your case by calling (314) 409-7060, or Toll-Free by calling 855-55-BAD-DRUG.
Anatomy of the Hip
The hip is one of the largest joints in the entire body. It is considered a ball-and-socket joint. The ball is also called the femoral head, which is the upper end of the thighbone (femur). The socket is formed by the acetabulum, which is a part of the pelvis bone. A smooth tissue, called cartilage, cushions the ends of the ball and socket. Cartilage enables the bones to move easily.
Surrounding the hip joint is the synovial membrane, a thin tissue that makes a small amount of lubricating fluid. This fluid eliminates friction during movement. Ligaments, bands of small tissue, connect the ball to the socket and provide stability to the joint.
Causes of Hip Pain
The most common cause of hip pain is arthritis. There are three types of arthritis associated with hip replacements:
- Osteoarthritis – typically occurs in people over the age of 50 or people with a family history of the disease. The cartilage cushioning the bones wears away. The ball and socket rub against each other causing pain and stiffness.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – an autoimmune disease that occurs when the synovial membrane becomes inflamed and thickened. The inflammation damages the cartilage, which leads to pain and stiffness.
- Post-Traumatic Arthritis – pain and stiffness caused by a serious injury or fracture to the hip.
Hip Surgery and Zimmer Durom Cup Hip Implants
In a hip replacement, damaged bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with orthopedic implants, like the Zimmer Durom Cup hip implant.
When the femoral head is damaged, it is removed and replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the center of the femur. The metal stem may be cemented into the femur or “press-fitted” into the femur. A metal ball is then placed on the upper part of the stem, which replaces the damaged femoral head. Next, the acetabulum is removed and replaced with a metal socket. Screws or cement are used to keep the socket in place. Finally, a metal spacer is inserted between the new ball and socket to create a smooth, gliding surface.
While typical hip replacement surgeries have consisted of the use of cement or screws to hold the new hip components in place, the Zimmer Durom Cup hip implant was designed to be used without either cement or screws. The Zimmer Durom Cup consists of a porous coating designed to promote bone growth and fusion to the hip socket.
Injuries Caused by Zimmer Hip Implants
Many recipients of the Zimmer Durom Cup reported that the implant failed within two years causing serious injuries such as:
- Severe Pain
- Nerve Damage
- Loosening of the Device
- Metal Poisoning
- Bone and Tissue Death
- Need for Revision Surgery
Zimmer Durom Cup FDA Recall
Although Zimmer received numerous complaints about their hip implants, they refused to recall the product. They even told doctors to not bother sending any product back to them. The FDA stepped in and issued a recall for the Zimmer Durom Cup on September 26, 2008, citing false and misleading labeling. All surgeons were to cease implanting the device until Zimmer completed additional training and revision of the devices surgical technique. Over 19,000 Zimmer Durom Cup hip implants were involved in this recall.
Zimmer eventually discontinued the marketing and sale of the Durom Cup implant in the United States, but only for a couple of months. During the suspension, the company said it, “has found no evidence of a defect in the materials, manufacture, or design of the product.” Once the manufacturer revised the product’s labeling, it went back on the market.
Zimmer Durom Hip Cup Lawsuits
Soon after Zimmer introduced their Durom Cup hip implant to the market, patients began experiencing pain and suffering from the device’s failure. Hundreds of lawsuits were subsequently filed, citing Zimmer’s failure to disclose the device’s likelihood of rapid deterioration.
According to an article in the New York Times, “Zimmer data and interviews with doctors suggest that hundreds of patients might need [revision surgery] in the coming years.” A 2011 study found that, within five years post-surgery, the revision surgery rate for Zimmer Durom Cup hip transplants was close to 15 percent of patients. Some of the lawsuits filed by patients claim the revision rate is as high as 30 percent.
One of Zimmer’s own paid consultants, Dr. Lawrence Dorr, brought the high incidents of revision surgery to the company’s attention in 2007. He ceased using the device during his surgeries and reported his concerns to the FDA. In 2008, he warned other surgeons.
Lawyer for Zimmer Durom Hip Implants
Lawsuits against Zimmer state that the company knew about the Durom Cup’s defects, but they continued to sell and market the device. Studies have shown the device fails at an alarming rate after less than five years. Hip replacements typically last up to 20 years. Zimmer has placed its shareholders financial interests before the health and wellness of patients seeking relief.
If you have experienced the failure of your Zimmer Durom Cup hip replacement, we can help you seek reimbursement for your pain and suffering. We do not imply that all Zimmer products are defective, but it can be determined through our comprehensive injury investigation. You may be entitled to recover damages against Zimmer if you have been injured. Contact defective medical device attorney Christopher Dixon to discuss your case by calling, (314) 409-7060 or Toll-Free at 855-55-BAD-DRUG.