Q: Which product is part of the Zimmer hip recall?
The product is called the Zimmer Durom Acetabular Component (“Durom Cup”). It’s a component used in total hip replacement procedures. Around 12,500 Durom Cups have been sold in the U.S. since it was placed on the market in 2006.
Q: What is a Durom Cup?
The hip joint is a “ball-and-socket” joint. The rounded portion at the top of the femur fits into the cup-shaped depression in the pelvis to create a ball-and-socket formation. In older adults, the socket portion of the hip joint often becomes damaged due to arthritis or trauma. The Durom Cup was designed to replace the damaged inner lining of the socket, alleviating hip pain and allowing a greater range of motion.
Q: When was the Durom Cup recalled, and why?
In 2008, Zimmer issued a voluntary recall of the Durom Cup over concerns about the surface of the cup. Many patients claimed that the cup’s surface was improperly designed, preventing it from binding properly in the socket and causing the implants to fail at a high rate. Zimmer attributed the problem to inadequate surgical instructions. As a result, U.S. sales of the Durom Cup were suspended and production halted in 2010.
Q: How do I determine if a Durom Cup was implanted during my total hip replacement procedure?
The best way to determine whether you received a Durom Cup is to obtain a copy of your records from the hospital where the operation was performed. Your medical records should indicate the implant model you received.
Q: What are the primary complications associated with Durom Cup failure?
Patients who received a Durom Cup have reported experiencing a number of complications, including:
- Failure of the implant to bond with bone
- Unexpected movement of joint in hip socket
- Loosening of the implant
- Damage to surrounding bone and tissue
- Prolonged healing time
- Bone loss
These complications can lead to revision surgery, in which the cup is removed and replaced.
Q: What are the symptoms associated with implant complications?
Complications associated with the Durom Cup can result in a number of different symptoms, including:
- Pain persisting for more than three months after surgery
- Shooting leg pain
- Groin pain
- Pain below the buttocks
- Difficulty standing or walking after prolonged sitting
- Difficulty climbing stairs
Q: Is my surgeon liable for my Durom Cup complications?
Not necessarily. It depends on your particular case. For example, if implantation of a metal-on-metal artificial hip joint was inappropriate in your case, if your surgeon improperly implanted the cup, or if your doctor failed to explain the risks involved with the procedure, your doctor may be liable for any injuries that resulted.
Q: Is Zimmer liable for my injuries?
Under product liability law, manufacturers have certain duties to consumers. Manufacturers must ensure, through testing and other means, that a product is as safe as possible. Where dangers do exist, a manufacturer must provide adequate warnings. When a product is found to be “defective” – or unreasonably dangerous for its intended use – liability may attach even if there’s no finding of manufacturer negligence. This is called “strict liability.”
Plaintiffs may argue that Zimmer inadequately tested the Durom Cup because of its high failure rate. Additionally, patients may claim that the cup is unreasonably dangerous in its design, or that Zimmer failed to adequately warn about the dangers associated with the use of the cup. Finally, plaintiffs may argue that the company negligently and intentionally misrepresented the cup as a safe and effective treatment option.
Q: Have any lawsuits been filed over the Zimmer hip recall?
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against Zimmer over injuries related to the cup. Many of these suits have been consolidated into a multidistrict case in federal court. Zimmer has already paid out millions of dollars in Durom Cup settlements. The company projects it will pay out millions more in coming years.
Q: What should I do if I suspect I may have a Durom Cup claim?
If you suspect you’ve suffered complications as a result of a Durom Cup implant, you should consult with an attorney who’s knowledgeable about the Zimmer hip recall. A lawyer will be able to evaluate the strengths of your case and advise you about your legal options. Avoid delay, or your case could become time-barred by a law known as the statute of limitations.