Articles Posted in Zimmer

Published on:

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.

Published on:

New Jersey has rejected Zimmer request to consolidate 10 NexGen Flex knee litigation lawsuits in New Jersey.

Typically, the medical device defendant will try to avoid consolidation as Zimmer did in the MDL. Here, they made the opposite argument: centralizing the New Jersey lawsuits would help streamline discovery.

Published on:

It is easy to forget what a rarity hip replacement surgery used to be. Today, people with artificial hips are ubiquitous. Direct costs of hip and knee replacements exceed $35 billion in the United States. More than 285,000 hip replacements are performed annually in the United States and it is projected that total joint replacement will increase to 4 million patients annually due to the aging population. Until very recently, hip replacements have been applauded as a wonderful, revolutionary way to get people back on their feet with less or no pain. But with this revolution came medical device makers looking to make as much money, and get as much market share, as possible.

The temptations for hip makers was extraordinary. Hip replacement surgery may be recommended in cases where hip pain limits daily activities, continues while resting (night or day), limits the ability to move or lift the leg, or in cases where pain relief is not provided by physical therapy, walking supports or anti-inflammatory drugs. Hip replacement surgery has a high rate of success, due to improvements in surgical techniques and technology. Total hip arthroplasty (total hip replacement) involves removing the damaged bone and cartilage and replacing it with prosthetic components. These components did not come cheaply but health insurance companies readily admitted that this was the appropriate treatment for people with compromised hips.

Though many hip replacement surgeries are successful, there is risk for infection, failure, and other adverse effects. Concerns have been raised in peer reviewed publications relating to metallosis, the build up of metal debris in soft tissues or blood. Reports are generally restricted to metal-on-metal devices, or those constructed with acetabular polyethylene liner. Metal-on-metal devices often contain cobalt or chromium. Although the occurrence is rare (occurring in approximately 5.3% patients), it is a serious complication associated with these devices. Metallic debris can occur due to malpositioning of the implant, subluxation, or jamming of the femoral head.

Continue Reading

Published on:

I hate spam. A lot of folks had comments about their Zimmer knee replacement but I did not see them in the midst of so much spam. I went back today and found a lot more comments. They are all published now here.

Published on:

Here are this week’s stories:

  • Blood Products: The FDA hit the Red Cross with $16.2 million in fines for blood safety violations. Maybe I should take my donations to the local hospital, instead…
  • Hormone Therapy: Pfizer needs to get ready to try its hormone therapy cases all over the country, now that cases have been sent from Arkansas to their home states (with more awaiting transfer). Some think the upcoming cost will be an incentive for settlement. (HT: Bloomberg).
Published on:

Two prominent Chicago orthopaedic surgeons are calling for the recall of Zimmer’s NexGen CR-Flex Knee replacement devices. There has already been a recall of related to a part of the knee.

The porous femoral component (that is, the part of the replacement that covers the head of the femur, the bone that goes from the pelvis to the knee) is associated with a high rate of failure. The two Chicago surgeons calling for the Zimmer recall, Richard Berger and Craig Della Valle from Rush University Medical Center, have observed after two years’ of use that 36% of the implants were loose, and 9.3% were revised or set to be revised because of looseness and associated pain.

The doctors stated that “This component is still commercially available but should not be used for any patient.” They also questioned the fact that the product was released for sale to the public without clinical testing. Dr. Berger described the failure rate as “horrific.”