Zimmer Hip Revision Surgery Lawsuit Alleges “Catastrophic Failure” of Implant
A couple has filed a Zimmer hip revision surgery lawsuit, alleging implantation of a Zimmer hip system led to “casastrophic failure” in just four years. The plaintiff was forced to undergo revision surgery that has left him permanently injured and impaired. The couple has filed their lawsuit against the manufacturer of the hip device, claiming Zimmer failed to provide proper warning about the risks associated with their product.
Lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court
Robert and Grace Lesher filed their federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on December 17, 2014. Other federal cases have been coordinated into multidistrict litigation in the District of New Jersey, in order to make early trial proceedings more convenient for all the parties involved. It is not clear whether this case will be transferred to the coordination at some point in the future.
According to this complaint, Robert Lesher underwent total hip arthroplasty on his right hip to treat arthritis in that joint. His surgery, which was performed in February 2010, appeared to be successful at the time. During the procedure, Lesher received a Zimmer M/L Taper Femoral Stem with Kinective Technology. This device involves a modular stem implanted into the patient’s femur. A modular neck component is joined to the stem, with each component customized to the unique size and shape of the individual patient.
After his initial procedure, Lesher was careful to follow the instructions of both his surgeon and the physical therapist that worked with him for six weeks after his surgery. He appeared to recover well and returned to the same surgeon in October 2013 to inquire about a second hip replacement surgery for his left hip. However, his surgeon told him at that he was no longer using the M/L Taper with Kinective Technology, because another of his patients experienced catastrophic failure with the device.
Potential failure leads to anxiety
Unfortunately, the news of a potential failure of the device left Lesher with anxiety and doubts. Those fears were realized on August 17, 2014, when he “felt and heard something pop.” He also experienced severe pain immediately following the sensation, which resulted in his immediate transport to a nearby hospital. At the facility, it was discovered that Lesher has suffered a fracture in the femoral stem, which required revision surgery.
Revision hip replacement surgery can be a much riskier procedure than the initial surgery. The surgeon often must find a way to implant the implant device around damaged bone and tissue. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, loosening of the joint or migration of the device are more likely to occur after revision surgery. Joint dislocation is also more common after revision surgery.
History of Zimmer problems
Sadly, Lesher is not the only one who has had to deal with the additional risks associated with revision surgery after receiving a Zimmer hip system. The company suspended sales of their Durom cup in 2008 after multiple reports of serious complications like severe pain, decreased mobility and failure of the device. Many of those injured patients have now filed lawsuits seeking damages for their pain and suffering, medical expenses and other non-economic losses.
According to Lesher’s Zimmer hip revision surgery lawsuit, his injuries from the defective hip implant have left him with permanent disability, severe pain and discomfort and impaired health and vitality. He and his wife are seeking damages from Zimmer for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain, suffering and disfigurement.
- FDA, Medical Devices Recalls, http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/MetalonMetalHipImplants/ucm241770.htm
- American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Joint Revision Surgery – When Do I Need It? http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00510
- Consumers Union, A Summary of Hip Implant Recalls, http://safepatientproject.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Hip-Recalls-Summary-Final-9-9-131.pdf
- FDA, Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants, http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/MetalonMetalHipImplants/
- Zimmer, Zimmer M/L Taper with Kinectiv Technology, http://www.zimmer.com/medical-professionals/products/hip/ml-taper-kinectiv-technology.html