Zimmer NexGen Knee has caused injuries like nerve and bone damage as well as implant fracture, dislocation, and failure. Our law firm is working with some of the more experienced Zimmer Knee lawyers and there are no legal fees unless you receive a settlement or award. Feel free to submit a contact form online or call us toll-free anytime.
Many patients have alleged that their Zimmer NexGen Knee Replacements have caused serious injuries. The company introduced its first NexGen Knee in 1994 and by 1999 it released “high flex” versions of these implants. The trademark of these “high flex knees” is that they have a greater range of motion. However, some of the most recent versions of these joints have failed at higher than normal rates. The company has placed three allegedly defective knee implants on the market: (1) Zimmer NexGen CR Flex Knee, (2) Zimmer NexGen LPS Flex Knee, and (3) Zimmer NexGen MIS Tibial Component. The CR Flex Knee was manufactured using porous fiber metal and it does not use surgical cement like many other implants. The LPS Flex Knee was designed to both bend and rotate. The various hooks, screws, and plates of the MIS Tibial Component are assembled on-site during the surgery. Many patients now allege the design of these devices has caused them to undergo corrective surgery.
Zimmer Knee Complications
These high flexion knee replacements have been linked to several injuries. The most common complaints are pain, swelling, and joint stiffness. As the implant wears out the severity of these side effects increase. In very serious cases, a patient may have to undergo revision surgery. If you have suffered any of the following complications, then you should talk to a Zimmer Knee lawyer.
- Difficulty walking and decreased range of motion
- Nerve damage
- Bone damage including fractured or broken bones
- Misalignment of the prosthetic knee
- Dislocation and implant failure
High Failure Rates Among Zimmer Knees
Medical studies have investigated the allegations that NexGen Knee fails at high rates in a short amount of time. In 2005, Dr. Richard Berger implanted 125 patients with the device but shortly after X-rays revealed that it had not fused properly for many of them. Read The New York Times Story here. Then in 2007, data from the Australian National Joint Registry revealed that the device had a revision rate of 6.7% after five years and 9.6% after eight years (i). Two years later data from the same registry showed that there had been 120 revision surgeries among NexGen Knee patients (ii). These numbers are alarming because these implants should last at least 15 years.
In March 2010, the manufacturer filed a report with the SEC stating that the Zimmer NexGen CR Flex Knee was the subject of a 108 patient study (The High Failure Rate of a High-Flex Total Knee Arthroplasty Design) conducted by Dr. Berger and Dr. Della Valle of Rush University Medical Center. The results of the study showed that doctors “revised 9 (8.3%) patients for femoral loosening and pain.” Additionally, “39 (36%) patients showed evidence of radiographic loosening and that loosening and revision were not related to surgeon, approach or patient type.” The report also stated that more than 150,000 NexGen CR Flex Knee products had been sold since 2003 (iii). This study prompted Iowa Senator Charles Grassley to write a letter to the company asking how it “tracks the long-term performance” of its products. Read his letter here.
Problems with these knee implants have continued to surface throughout the years. In October 2011, the Bone and Joint Journal published a medical study that found that “high-flexion designs have a greater risk for femoral component loosening than conventional TKR designs.” (iv). A January 2012 study done by the Mayo Clinic confirmed that the MIS Tibial Component was linked to higher than expected failure rates. Researchers reviewed data from over 1,000 patients who went through knee replacement surgery between 2000 and 2011. Complications from the NexGen Knee were 3.9% and half of those involved premature loosing.
Zimmer Knee Recall
In December 2009, a Zimmer knee recall was announced because “the titanium portion of the implant may separate from the trabecular metal material.” In September of 2010, the FDA ordered a Class 2 Recall for NexGen Complete Knee Solution MIS Tibial Components as well as Tibial Plates and Keels. These component parts were pulled from the market due to a “nonconforming geometry” that kept their locking screws and stem extensions from properly interlocking with each other. The recall was based on 114 adverse event reports that stated “the device loosened and the patient required additional surgery.” This looseness resulted in pain, infection, immobility and osteoarthritis. View the recall information here. Additionally, in December 2010, the company pulled certain lots of the NexGen LPS Flex Knee and its components from the market (v).
Zimmer Knee Lawsuits
The company is facing a growing number of legal problems associated with its devices. Many of these cases have been consolidated in the Northern District of Illinois in a case named, “In Re: Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant Products Liability Litigation – MDL 2272.” In total there have been 1,050 Zimmer Knee lawsuits filed and 1,014 of these legal actions are still pending (vi). One of these legal actions was filed in August 2012 when Maxy Payne sued the company seeking $99 million. She was implanted with a NexGen Knee but required corrective surgery in less than a year. Her complaint alleges that the device was defectively designed and lacked adequate warnings.
In October 2012, Carletha McGuire filed a lawsuit after her knee replacement failed after just three years. Injuries associated with the revision surgery have negatively impacted her daily life and she is seeking recovery for her injuries. Her husband is also claiming loss companionship. More recently, Susan Schwartz of Ohio filed Zimmer Knee lawsuit in March 2013. She and her husband have alleged design defect, failure to warn, negligence, and breach of warranty. On June 6, 2013, a Texas woman filed a suit making similar accusations. Her knee implant failed after five years and caused her to suffer substantial hospital bills and other medical expenses.
Do You Need Legal Advice Regarding a Zimmer Knee Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one has needed corrective surgery because of the NexGen Knee, then you should talk to a personal injury attorney. We are now working with Zimmer Knee lawyers, who are handling these cases, and there is no legal fee unless you receive a settlement or award. Feel free to submit a contact form online or call us at 1-800-992-6878 for a free legal consultation.
- (i) Australian Orthopaedic Association 2007 Annual Report.
- (ii) Australian Orthopaedic Association 2009 Annual Report.
- (iii) SEC Filing.
- (iv) The Bone and Joint Journal, October 2011.
- (v) FDA Class 2 Recall, December 2, 2010.
- (vi) Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation Docket, July 10, 2013.