Zimmer Hip Lawyer | Zimmer Hip Settlement

Three Zimmer Hip Lawsuit Questions

J. Cooper Carlisle | March 9th, 2011

Zimmer hip implant recipients who have experienced problems with their devices should ask a Zimmer hip lawyer at least three important questions when determining whether or not to file a lawsuit, and what they can realistically expect in terms of settlement.

What are the make and model of the hip implant device?

The Zimmer device currently under legal scrutiny is an acetabular component manufactured by Zimmer known as the Durom Cup. The Durom Cup, made from a single piece of cobalt-chromium alloy, is designed to sit in the hipbone and hold another hip replacement component, the femoral component, in place.

There have been reports of a problem with the fixative surface of the Durom Cup, which causes the component to become detached from the hipbone. This defect can cause hip implant failure and necessitate costly and painful hip revision surgery.

Has the Zimmer Durom Cup failed?

A Zimmer hip lawsuit and potential Zimmer hip settlement might be most dependent upon the seriousness of side effects caused by the device.

For some, the Durom Cup  works as intended, lasting 15 years or more without incident.  For others, the device can separate slightly from the hipbone, revealing what doctors call “radiolucent lines” in X-rays. At other times, the Durom Cup has been shown to migrate in its hipbone depression, causing catastrophic hip replacement failure.

The main issue with the Zimmer hips appears to stem from the failure of the implant to adhere to the bone in accordance with its design.  The Durom Cup component is covered in a porous substance that in effect should “cement” itself to the bone.  However, orthopedic surgeons have noted that for many patients, this bonding process never occurs.  Without the bony in-growth upon which success of the device depends, Zimmer hip failure is inevitable within a short time.

Patients whose devices fail often believe that their pain is simply an extension of their surgery.  Many grow complacent, believing their lives will now be filled with chronic pain.  This simply is not true. Successful hip replacement surgery should result in an improved quality of life for patients.  If they continue to have pain after rehab of if they develop new, unexplained pain later on, patients should immediately consult their orthopedists to determine whether they have become the latest Zimmer hip failure statistic.

Indications of Durom Cup failure can make themselves evident to a recipient through hip pain that arises immediately or months after initial surgery, causing varying degrees of pain.  Patients often are unable to get on with their lives as the pain interferes with their daily activity and hobbies; preventing them from reporting to work or even spending quality time with family.

Have you had Zimmer hip revision surgery?

A hip revision surgery is arguably the most serious result of Zimmer hip failure.  These subsequent procedures wherein the original Zimmer Durom Cup is removed and replaced with a new device is a devastating reality for too many patients.

The second surgery presents all of the risks inherent in the first surgery, yet is heightened by several concerning factors including bone damage caused by implantation and removal of the original device.  Physical rehabilitation is typically more demanding and painful.  Expenses are also a concern for many who have added medical bills, time away from work, and any number of out of pocket expenses related to the ordeal.

Thorough consultation with a Zimmer hip lawyer is the best way to understand a patient’s legal rights in light of his or her answers to these questions.  Any Zimmer hip settlement negotiation will be rooted in these concerns as well.