Posts Tagged ‘Implants’
Has Zimmer Holdings, Inc. been negligent in not recalling their Durom Cup hip implant and unnecessarily slow in their reaction to the problems that have been occurring with it in the United States? Many of those who are personally involved, such as doctors, implant patients, stockholders, and attorneys contend that they have been. Despite the fact that the implant was used successfully in Europe for several years before being introduced in America, most people feel that Zimmer should have been quicker to inform the public about what was taking place. General consensus has it that the devices are defective and that the company should have issued an immediate recall when indicators pointed that way.
In July, 2008, Zimmer finally suspended sales in America which was about 6 months later than the move should have happened per most interested parties. Instead of pulling the cups from the market in January when they became aware of problems, Zimmer left them on the market while they investigated what was going on. Since the implants had been used so successfully in a multitude of surgeries in Europe, they couldn’t fathom that the same devices were defective when used in the U.S. They felt the reason for the problems lay elsewhere, and they were reluctant to make a major move that would undermine company profits until they’d looked into the situation further.
Using information taken from 3,100 implant surgeries, Zimmer put together a database of material so that their researchers could study the problem in detail. After a great deal of study, they determined that there was nothing wrong with the implant technology. What they found was that American doctors hadn’t received adequate training prior to starting to perform the surgeries. The implants had been designed differently from previous types of hip replacement devices, and surgeons needed to be much more precise about the way they implanted them than they’d ever needed to be before.
Zimmer never issued a formal recall of the Durom Cup, because they found no evidence of any of the failures being caused by defects within the device. They are planning to get the implant back on the market just as soon as they come up with a way to train doctor’s to do the hip replacement surgery with the precision that is necessary.
It has been stated that the public demand for product recall was partially based on the fact that Zimmer had no post-surgical procedures in place to follow up on the surgeries. It was also argued that this isn’t their job as manufacturer, anyway, although a lot of people are convinced that once a manufacturer markets a product it should take responsibility for it throughout its working life.
Physicians have left no doubt in anyone’s mind that they consider the whole problem to be related to defects within the Durom Cup itself. In the defense of the doctors’ point of view, Zimmer does still market a knee replacement device in the U.S. even though Austrian doctors quit using it a number of years ago, because it failed in 40% of the patients it was used to help. These blemishes on Zimmer’s reputation have left doctors somewhat skeptical about how well their products will work.
Many patients who had Zimmer Durom Cup implants used in their hip replacement surgeries are finding that there are complications that far exceed the normal expectations for recovery. These patients are experiencing a lot of extra pain for longer periods of time, facing revision surgeries and increased medical expenses, and losing revenue by being unable to work at their regular jobs. Although Zimmer Holdings, Inc. is claiming that that their implant is in no way defective and not to blame for the surgical failures, some patients are filing lawsuits against them and receiving settlements.
Although Zimmer has been accused of reacting to the problems too slowly and not accepting the liability for the failed implants as they should, in October, 2008 they did announce that they had set aside a fund of $47.5 million to pay lawsuit claims. They are still adamant that their research showed no defects in the product. Many physicians still aren’t convinced. Zimmer took the Durom Cup off of the American market in July, 2008 and then reinstated it the next month along with an online training program which doctors must complete prior to being able to do hip replacements surgeries using the cup again. Half of all the doctors involved declined the offer saying that taking the training would be a waste of their time. Through all of this, everyone has had a lot of stress to deal with, especially the hundreds of patients with defective Durom Cups who are awaiting further surgery.
These suffering patients definitely deserve some help and restitution which is why product liability lawyers are encouraging them to file lawsuits. Zimmer has been paying some of these claims, too. However, even if the money they are being offered seems like a lot to them, in many cases patients are settling too quickly and without provision being made for ongoing problems in the future. Without waiting to find out what an actual case is worth, people may find themselves paying thousands of dollars out of pocket when further complications arise.
Anyone who thinks they may have a claim against Zimmer needs to start checking into it. If you think you might qualify, you can call attorney to find out for sure. Look for one that operates nationwide and specializes in litigation against defective medical devices. This law firm has even set up a special division to research and process claims against Zimmer and secure equitable settlements for their clients. Of course, if you’d prefer, you can also contact a local law firm that handles product liability lawsuits.
If you’ve been having pain and trouble getting around due to your hip replacement, talk to your doctor about it. He may tell you that you’ll need revision surgery to correct a problem with the implant. If this happens, contact a medical product liability lawyer immediately. This attorney will then make sure that everything is fully documented about your case and your revision so that you can be sure to get the settlement you deserve. If you don’t involve an experienced attorney, you stand to lose thousands of dollars that you are entitled to, so don’t take that chance.
When you know for sure that you have a valid case, don’t expect anything to happen too quickly. Your lawyer will want to take the time to ensure that you get everything you have coming to you. Listen to his advice, and never accept a speedy settlement directly from Zimmer. Wait until everything is resolved so that you can get all the compensation that you deserve.
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For many Americans getting older, it can be surprising how different it feels to get out of bed every day. Each day starts with some new ache and pain, and a lot of old ones. But for some of us, certain aches aren’t just the ravages of time to be lived with, but instead indicate the more series problem of joint damage. Our joints are strong, but were not designed for 60 or 70 years of active use.
If you’ve ever had joint pain bad enough for the need or a replacement, you know how difficult it can be to have so much pain that even walking within your own home can become impossible. This is why artificial replacements for knee and hip joints were invented. If you have had a hip replaced, keep reading for more information on the Durom implant recall.
A hip replacement, like the Durom implant, can greatly improve quality of life for many patients. A patient who could not walk or care for themselves due to extreme pain will be able to take part in many of the activities that they have long enjoyed. The biggest drawback to a hip replacement is their limited lifespan. Due to the nature of their task and the stress put upon them, they tend to fail and need replacement themselves within ten years. For a patient in their 70’s, this is less of a concern, but for an active younger patient, perhaps in their 50’s, this ensures the prospect of at least one future surgery, if not two.
This is the reason that the Durom implant was invented, and how it was sold to doctors as the right solution for their patients. A standard hip replacement will begin to wear and need replacement itself within ten years. This means that for a younger patient, they could need as many as three surgeries, and their replacements themselves need replacement. This is a huge burden for a patient to face. The Durom implant was designed to be longer lasting, so that instead of needing to be replaced, it could continue to function for a much longer period, avoiding the need for further surgery, and making it a good solution for younger patients.
Unfortunately for patients who have received a Durom implant, this promise has not held true. At a clinic where the implants were used, an astoundingly high twelve percent of patients needed their replacements removed and replaced in under two years. This is a much shorter time span than the traditional replacement, and is no where near the claims made by the Zimmer Durom company. While the company denounced the high rate as surgeon error, in their own studies done under ideal conditions, the replacements failed seven percent of the time, which is still an amazingly high number.
If you or a loved on received a hip replacement before June of 2008, it is time to contact your doctor to see if it was a Durom implant. If so, you may be able to join a class action lawsuit against the company.
In 2006 a radical new hip replacement device called the Zimmer Durom Cup Replacement was approved for use in the United States. This one-piece design was a radical change from the three-part implants that had been used in previous decades. Doctors were impressed by the track record the implants had enjoyed in Europe for three years prior to the device being introduced into American markets. However, the thrill of victory was rapidly overcome by the agony of defeat as hundreds of U.S. patients started suffering pain from loosening implants.
Soon after the surgeries began in 2006, patients started revisiting their doctors with complaints. Naturally, they knew it would take a reasonable amount of time for full recovery, but they were experiencing pain well after the expected three-month recovery time. Upon examination, doctors determined that a large number of these patients needed revision surgery to correct problems. These physicians now believe that as many as 5.7% of all those receiving the Durom Cup Replacements prior to July, 2008 will need revisions.
After being removed from the American market for a period of time in July, 2008, the Durom Cup Replacement component was reinstated in August, 2008 along with new training programs for physicians doing the implant surgeries. By following the techniques taught to them in an internet-based training program, surgeons can greatly reduce the number of problems patients suffer from loosening of the implants. Unfortunately, only about half of the doctors who were using the Durom Cup previously have elected to take the extra training necessary to use the technology now.
Patients who have experienced problems with their Zimmer Durom Cup Replacements are filing lawsuits against the company, and even stockholders have filed a class action lawsuit in Indiana stating that Zimmer should have notified shareholders about what was taking place long before they did. By the end of the 3rd quarter of 2008, Zimmer had set aside $47.5 millions to pay claims brought against them in these lawsuits. Although their testing did not find any defects in their product, they do admit that they were negligent in training doctors properly in its use.
Any patient who has unexplained hip pains longer than three months following the surgery, has had a doctor tell them that their Durom Cup Replacement device has loosened, or has been told that they need revision surgery are being urged by product liability lawyers to seek restitution. Under the laws of most states, patients with these problems are entitled to monetary compensation. Anyone who got a Durom Cup implant prior to July, 2008 may want to check with an attorney to see if they are eligible for compensation under these laws.
Since it was reintroduced to the American market in August, 2008, the Durom Cup Replacement device is again being used by about half of the physicians who used to perform the implants. While it is much too soon to know the success rate of these surgeries, the doctors who have performed them are confident that the new training they received will make a big difference. Other doctors are still skeptical and reluctant to take the risk of trying to use the cups again. If you are a candidate for hip replacement surgery, you’ll need to read the information that’s available and make your own decisions. Keep in mind, though, that even with a 5.7% failure rate, Durom Cup surgeries were still successful 94.3% of the time.
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