Zimmer Hip Recall | Zimmer Suspends Sales

Origin of the Suspension of Zimmer Durom Cup Sales

Sarah Klein | February 11th, 2011

Sales of  Zimmer Durom Cup implants were suspended by Zimmer in response to a variety of problems. The first substantial evidence of Zimmer hip problems was brought to light by Dr. Larry Dorr on April 22, 2008.

Dr Dorr first notified Zimmer and then wrote a letter to colleagues at the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons warning of the defects and failures. Dr. Dorr began to associate the defects and failures with the Zimmer Druom hip cup after multiple revision surgeries required in his patients due to the Zimmer hip cup’s seeming inability to bond adequately. Zimmer did not immediately issue a recall. They allowed the device to continue as an implant option after Dr. Dorr’s notifications. It was only later that the company issued the recall.

Reasons for Zimmer Hip Failure

In numerous cases the hip implant cup was loose due to lack of bonding with the bone. Due to this failure, patients experienced severe pain and additional complications attributable to the use of the Zimmer Durom implant. The Zimmer Durom Cup is intended to bond to the hip socket as bone grows into the porous shell of the device. There are no screws, epoxy or cement of any kind that are used to affix or adhere the implant in position.

Many patients who had the Zimmer Durom Cup reported pain and discomfort to their surgeons long after the implant. In some cases x-rays showed that the cup was in place and nothing was wrong with the implant. This left patients suffering pain and discomfort for an extended period of time. Individuals who found themselves in this situation were often actually in need of a revision surgery.

In many cases patients who have “normal” xrays that eventually undergo revision surgery in response to common symptoms of loosening were correct in their insistence that the device was not working correctly. In the midst of revision surgery the cup frequently falls out.

There is often no bony ingrowth visible into the device’s porous shell. As a result, the Zimmer hip never formed the necessary bond to ensure proper functionality of the device. The company was left with the little choice than to initiate the suspension of Zimmer Durom Cup sales while they investigated the source of the problem.  Zimmer maintains that they are not to blame for the reported failure rate.