Zimmer Hip Recall | Zimmer Hip Replacement Lawsuit

New Zealand Issues International Warning About Zimmer Durom Cup Hip

Shay Morrigan | November 12th, 2012

On October 26, 2012, Medsafe, the New Zealand health regulatory agency, warned patients and doctors that the Zimmer Durom Cup hip device is more likely to fail than comparable devices. This is the fifth such international warning related to the use of metal-on-metal hip replacements. Others warned about the DePuy ASR, the Mitch TR, the Smith and Nephew R3, and the Birmingham Modular Health.

The Zimmer Durom Cup has been the subject of many complaints, with patients suffering Zimmer hip replacement problems like pain, instability, metal contamination, premature loosening, and device failure. Each federal Zimmer hip lawsuit in the U.S. has been centralized in the New Jersey MDL. Sales of the Durom Cup were temporarily suspended in 2008, but the company chose not to issue a Zimmer hip recall, instead re-releasing the device back on the market about a month later, citing a lack of evidence of defects.

Warning of potential Zimmer hip replacement problems

Surgeons in New Zealand were asked months ago to carry out annual monitoring of all patients with metal-on-metal implants like the Zimmer Durom Cup. The device was first released on the New Zealand market in 2003, but Zimmer Orthopaedics discontinued the product in June 2011. In the years in between, the Durom Cup was used in a total of 252 hip implants in New Zealand.

The new international warning alerts doctors and patients to be aware of potential Zimmer hip replacement problems. Medsafe estimates that about 16 percent of people who are implanted with the device will have problems, a higher rate than the average 10 percent failure seen with metal-on-metal devices in general.

“There is a greater awareness by manufacturers and regulators about these devices,” said Medsafe Group Manager Dr. Stewart Jessamine, “which is why we are seeing more of these alerts.”

Zimmer hip lawsuit may claim metal contamination

A plaintiff who files a Zimmer hip lawsuit is likely to claim injuries related to metal contamination and premature loosening. The device places a metal cup inside a metal socket, and in some instances, the components may rub against one another during regular wear and tear, shedding tiny shards of cobalt and chromium into the surrounding tissues of the joint.

Such metal contamination can lead to inflammation, pseudotumors, and tissue damage and death, which in turn, can loosen the position of the implant in the hip socket. Plaintiffs claim that Zimmer should have provided adequate warnings about these potential risks.

2008 Zimmer hip recall

Because of early reports of Zimmer hip complications, the company temporarily suspended sales of the device in 2008. No Zimmer hip recall was issued. After their investigation, however, Zimmer Orthopaedics concluded that the device was not defective, and re-released it on the market with updated surgical instructions.

By that time, however, hundreds of patients had already filed a Zimmer hip replacement lawsuit. Prominent orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lawrence Dorr had also warned his colleagues about the premature failures he was seeing in his patients. Patients who were not warned may be eligible for a lawsuit.