In the past few years, orthopedic surgeries to replace failing body parts have become incredibly common. We live active lives, and damage done to our joints in high school sports, skiing, running, and other outdoor activities is, incredibly, correctable using modern technology and science.
Problems With Zimmer Hip Replacements
Zimmer’s Duron Cup hip replacements are one type of metal-on-metal implant that has been making the news as causing problems for patients. We’ve seen evidence of problems with other metal device manufacturers, including DePuy, Wright and Stryker.
The problem is that the metal components rub together when a patient walks, and that friction causes small metal fragments to grind off. Those metal fragments can inflame the tissue or even enter the bloodstream, causing a type of blood poisoning called metallosis. Many patients require painful and dangerous revision surgeries.
The New Zealand government recently warned about Zimmer hip replacement devices, saying that the Durom Acetabular Cup is more likely to fail than comparable devices. Their research indicates that 16% of all Zimmer users will have problems within 10 years. This is a failure rate 10% higher than the average for metal-on-metal hip replacements (which is itself a poor benchmark). Zimmer hip replacements were recalled in New Zealand.
Need a Hip or Knee Replacement? Consider the Hardware
Orthopedic replacement is a booming business—in 2005 there were 750,000 hip and knee replacement surgeries (at a cost of $5 billion for implants) in the United States. By 2030, that number could be 4.5 million.
We all like the newest and the best—think of those people standing in long lines to upgrade their iPhones every time a “major announcement” takes place. But this is one area where it might be better to go with a tried and true model—something that has been on the market for five or more years, and has a good track record. The reason is that the market for orthopedic devices is so competitive that manufacturers rush their newest devices to sale as quickly as possible. As a result, patients become the guinea pigs, and problems might not arise in statistically significant numbers for a few years.
For More Information
- Zimmer Durom Cup Hip and Knee Implant Recall Lawyer
- Medsafe (New Zealand) reports on metal-on-metal hip implant recalls
- Medsafe report on Zimmer Hip Implant Recall
- Drug Recall Lawyer Blog: posts on defective and recalled hip implants
- Accident and Injury Lawyer Blog: An Industry-Wide Recall on Metal Hip Implants?