Zimmer Hip Implant Lawsuit | Zimmer hip problems

One Woman’s Struggle with Zimmer Hip Problems

Staff Writer | June 1st, 2011

“According to my surgeon, the metal cup in my hip joint just fell out,” Jessie Lee, a paramedic, tells WSAV TV, an NBC affiliate in Savannah, Georgia.

Lee was fitted with Zimmer’s Durom Cup, an acetabular hip replacement component that was temporarily recalled after it was found to cause a high rate of Zimmer hip problems.

Complications lead to hip revision surgery

Because of Zimmer hip problems, including pain and complete dislocation, Lee was forced to undergo revision surgery, a second and more complicated surgery than primary hip replacement.

Today, Lee is implanted with a different and better hip replacement system, but the damage has been done. Her previous device caused tissue damage that she may live with for the rest of her life.

“I can’t sit for long periods of time,” Lee tells WSAV, “I can’t stand for long periods of time and I can’t walk very far. That’s just the opposite of what I used to be.”

Dozens of plaintiffs have filed a Zimmer hip implant lawsuit over the Durom Cup, which was implanted into more than 12,000 people before Zimmer suspended sales of the component in 2008. The company attributed Zimmer hip problems to a flaw in the surgical instructions packaged with the device, and remarketed the Durom Cup with revised surgical instructions.

Zimmer hip implant loosening leads to pain and troubling complications

But at least one prominent orthopedic surgeon attributed Zimmer hip problems to something more problematic: a fundamental defect with the fixative surface of the component. The Durom Cup failed to properly fuse to the hipbone, leading to a high rate of dislocations, wrote Dr. Larry Dorr to members of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons in April 2008. The temporary Zimmer hip replacement recall was initiated soon thereafter.

To date, a number of Durom Cup recipients have reached settlements with Zimmer Inc., which has set aside nearly $150 million in a settlement fund for those fitted with the device. A number of claims remain unsettled, but those cases may soon go to trial in a New Jersey federal court.

On June 15, Zimmer hip implant lawsuit attorneys will begin taking depositions in the Durom Cup litigation. A status conference for the litigation will take place on June 29.

It’s unclear if Jessie Lee has joined the litigation.

“I’m not bitter,” Lee tells WSAV TV. “I think I’m just too tired to be bitter. It’s been a long road.”