Zimmer Hip Revision Surgery Lawsuit - Implant Failed in Two Years

Zimmer Hip Revision Surgery Lawsuit Alleges Multiple Dislocations

Whitney Taylor | August 10th, 2013

Zimmer Hip Lawyer - Implant Failed in Two YearsA recent Zimmer hip revision surgery lawsuit filed in Kentucky alleges multiple dislocations and the need for revision surgery just two years after the initial procedure. Wilson Johnson filed his complaint with his Zimmer hip lawyer, asserting that manufacturing defects in his hip implant led to his complications, pain and suffering.

This lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky on June 21, 2013. Although the case was initially identified as a tagalong case for multidistrict litigation in New Jersey, the transfer order was dismissed the same day it was filed. There is no reason given for the denial of transfer on the docket. However, this case does not appear to involve the Zimmer Durom cup hip implant, like other lawsuits currently coordinated in the federal MDL.

Zimmer hip revision surgery lawsuit cites failure within two years

In his complaint, Johnson states he underwent hip replacement surgery on his left hip on June 7, 2010. The device used was the Zimmer 13/14 hip system, which included a femoral head and acetabular components. According to marketing material by Zimmer, this system is designed to offer patients greater range of motion, and has been used since the early 1990s.

Within two months of his initial procedure, Johnson experienced his first dislocation of the hip joint. Johnson was immediately hospitalized, but had to wait in pain overnight until the hip could be surgically put back into place. That event was followed by five more occasions where the hip joint “popped out of place” over the next two years. Each time the hip dislocated, Johnson had to be hospitalized and was then confined to his home for approximately 30 days before he was able to return to regular activities.

The hip joint dislocated for a final time on June 15, 2012, almost exactly two years after Johnson’s original hip implant procedure. Johnson went to the hospital as usual, but this time, medical staff was unable to get Johnson’s joint back into place. Johnson had to undergo a second surgery to remove the defective hip implant and replace it with a new device.

About hip dislocation and revision surgery

Hip dislocation is a painful complication of hip replacement surgery. The Orthopedic Research Institute states that the primary symptom of hip dislocation is pain that originates in the thigh area and travels to the knee. The pain can be worse while walking, which may significantly limit a patient’s mobility.

Revision surgery may be required when the complication cannot be satisfactorily addressed. According to the Hospital for Special Surgery, revision surgery presents unique challenges, since surgical results and durability of the replacement device are often less predictable. Revision surgery can lead to loss of muscle mass and bone, which may impact the patient’s ability to recover from the procedure and regain full mobility in the hip joint.

Zimmer’s court troubles

Zimmer is no stranger to legal actions against their hip implant devices. Numerous lawsuits have been filed over the alleged device defects of the Zimmer Durom Cup, after patients experienced serious and painful complications like dislocations and loosening of the joint. Some were also diagnosed with metallosis, or metal poisoning, due to fretting of the metal components that released metal particles into surrounding tissue and the bloodstream.

Although this Zimmer hip revision surgery lawsuit involves a different Zimmer device, the allegations brought by the plaintiff are similar to those seen with the Zimmer Durom cup. Like plaintiffs in other Zimmer lawsuits, Johnson is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from Zimmer to compensate him for pain, medical bills and diminished quality of life he has suffered since his initial hip implant surgery.

  1. Justia, United States District Court, District of New Jersey, MDL No. 2158, http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-jersey/njdce/2:2010cv04716/246615/9/0.pdf

  2. Hospital for Special Surgery, Revision Total Hip Replacement: An Overview, http://www.hss.edu/conditions_revision-total-hip-replacement-overview.asp

  3. Orthopedic Research Institute, Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, How to Recognize a Failing Hip Replacement, http://www.ori.org.au/hipjoint/failing.html

  4. Zimmer, CPT 12/14 Hip System, http://www.zimmer.com/content/pdf/en-GB/CPT_12_14_Hips_System_Brochure_(97-8114-101-00)_(06_2006).pdf