From Zimmer Hip Problems to Robot-Assisted Surgery with Dr. Dorr
He gained popularity back in 2008 when he blew the whistle on Zimmer hip problems. Today, Dr. Lawrence Dorr, M.D., reputed orthopedic surgeon, is spreading the word on robotic hip replacement surgery. Meanwhile, he remains a key figure in the story of Zimmer hip problems as the surgeon who was willing to stand up to his employers and tell them their device just wasn’t what they’d hoped it would be.
Sounding the alarm on Zimmer hip problems
Today, Dr. Dorr is the founder and medical director of The Arthritis Institute, a long-time designer of hip implants, and a highly reputed orthopedic surgeon who has performed over an estimated 5,000 hip and knee replacements. Over the past 15 years, however, it seems one of his main roles was to sound the alarm over hip replacement systems that weren’t performing for patients.
In 2000, Dr. Dorr alerted Sulzer Orthopedics, which produced hip implants, that patients were experiencing pain almost immediately after surgery and having to replace the implant within the first year of getting it. The company withdrew the allegedly faulty device six months later. Unfortunately, Dr. Dorr hadn’t seen the last of such hip problems.
Supporting patients seeking Zimmer hip replacement compensation
In 2008, Dr. Dorr, who was a consultant for Zimmer Holdings, warned the company about the Zimmer hip problems he was seeing in his patients concerning the Zimmer Durom Cup. An abnormally high number of them had to go through hip revision surgery because of hip implant failure. Zimmer failed to respond to the doctor’s concerns, so later that year, he wrote a letter to the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, describing the problem with the implant, particularly with how it was failing to fuse to the bone.
Following the doctor’s letter, Zimmer implemented what some have called a Zimmer hip replacement recall, which was really a short-term suspension of sales. The company spent the time researching the complaints, and determined the issue was not with the device, but with the surgeon’s failure to implant it correctly. They re-issued the Durom Cup with updated surgeon instructions, but patients continued to complain about Zimmer hip problems, and many began to seek Zimmer hip replacement compensation due to necessary hip revision surgeries. In 2010, the company stopped selling the Durom Cup in the U.S.
Might robots help avoid future Zimmer hip problems?
The doctor’s experiences seem to have sent him back to the drawing board to figure out how to further reduce the chances for Zimmer hip problems in the future. Though he no longer designs hip implants for the company, he hasn’t stopped working on new innovations, and in January 2011 performed the first-ever robotic-guided hip replacement.
“This is the single most important advance in the technique of doing the operation since Charlie first did it in 1959,” the doctor said. “This changes the game for the technique.”
The doctor explained that performing hip replacements is difficult because doctors can’t see the patient’s specific anatomy. During the new surgery, Dr. Dorr worked with the robotic guide to map out the patient’s femur, which helped create a better fit for the implant. The doctor says the process allows for precise numbers and increased accuracy.
The new surgery offers promise for future hip implants. Meanwhile, retaining a Zimmer Hip lawyer and filing suit so the courts can decide on current Zimmer hip problems may be the only recourse to gain Zimmer Hip replacement compensation.