Zimmer Hip Replacements May Require Revision Surgery

Zimmer Holdings, the manufacturer of Zimmer hip replacements, recently suspended sales of its Durom cup hip replacement components after a California orthopedic surgeon warned other surgeons that patients with the Durom cups may require revision surgery.

Details on the Durom cup

Zimmer’s Durom cup is an artificial hip socket used in hip replacement surgeries. It is estimated that as many as 12,000 people have received the cup since it started being used in the U.S. market in 2006. Many of those have reported that the device is failing and may have to undergo additional painful surgery to have their hip replacement – replaced.

What Zimmer says

Zimmer maintains that the product is not defective and that doctors are implanting the device incorrectly. The company has suspended sales of the device in July 2008 in order to provide doctors with specialized implant training. However, a prominent orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lawrence Dorr, an orthopedic surgeon who is the medical director of the Dorr Institute for Arthritis Research and Education in California, claims that Zimmer’s design of the Durom cup is bad and warned other orthopedic surgeons about his findings in April 2008.

What Dr. Dorr says

According to news reports, Dorr found that approximately eight percent of patients who received the device in his clinic needed to have additional surgery within two years. In his April 2008 letter, Dorr said:

As time goes by the cups begin developing radiolucent [which is anything that permits the penetration and passage of X-rays or other forms of radiation] lines. We now have one cup at two years that has actually migrated a short distance. It has tilted into varus [which is the inward angulation of the distal segment of a bone or joint.]. We do not believe the fixation surface is good on these cups. Also there is a circular cutting surface on the periphery of the cup that we believe prevents the cup from fully seating. We stopped using the cup after the first revisions.

While the company has suspended sales, it has not recalled the product – even though it has acknowledged that some patients will require additional surgery. If you believe that your Zimmer hip replacement has failed, contact an experienced attorney whose practice focuses in this area of the law. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential. To contact an attorney, please click here. We may be able to help.