Zimmer Hip Failure Complaints Increase in 2011
According to The New York Times (August 22, 2011), complaints about metal-on-metal (MOM) hip implant devices, including the Zimmer Durom Cup, have soared this year to an unprecedented 5,000, more than the FDA received in the previous four years combined. Meanwhile, though the FDA ordered all manufacturers of MOM devices to study failure rates, researchers are finding it challenging to gather the data they need to evaluate the true safety of these products.
Zimmer hip failure complaints and metal poisoning
FDA reports indicate that most people who are complaining of Zimmer hip failure and failures of other hip implant devices like the recalled DePuy ASR XL hip implant are having to go through hip revision surgery to have the implant replaced after only a couple of years. Many are also suffering from elevated levels of cobalt and chromium in the tissues and bloodstream, a result of metal particles that are shaved off during the normal wear and tear of the metal components.
Tracking Zimmer Hip failure data
Trying to produce new data, however, to meet the FDA’s demands for up-to-date safety evaluations is proving difficult. Manufacturers need to recruit hundreds of patients for the studies, and the problems themselves are proving difficult to pin down. Metal poisoning, for example, causes pain and other symptoms in some people, but not in others.
Doctors avoiding Zimmer hip failure by avoiding MOM
According to The Times, more surgeons are now avoiding MOM implants in favor of those that offer a combination metal-plastic option. This may be a wise move, considering the studies on MOM hip implants could take years to produce results.
Out of the thousands of reports filed with the FDA, about 1,600 were filed from 2007 to June 2011 specifically about the Zimmer Durom Cup. Estimates are that the number of complaints understates the real magnitude of the problem, since companies must file reports, but doctors and patients do not.
Zimmer hip lawyers going after settlement funds
Zimmer suspended sales of the Zimmer Durom Cup in 2008 because of numerous reports of Zimmer hip failure and metal poisoning. They put the device back on the market after a few months, however, stating the Durom Cup was not defective, and that surgeon error was causing the issues. Patients continued to report cases of Zimmer hip failure, however, until the company discontinued sales in the U.S. in 2010.
Zimmer hip lawyers are now focusing on the funds Zimmer set aside to cover Zimmer hip lawsuits, and working to gain compensation for plaintiffs in the consolidated multidistrict litigation in New Jersey.