In order to regain the quality of life you enjoyed prior to your disabling knee pain, you may have had knee replacement surgery. Zimmer Inc. manufactures knee replacement devices that are approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for patients with severe knee pain and disability due to arthritis, collagen disorders, trauma, and other conditions.
Zimmer is the largest manufacturer of knee replacements in the world. Since 1968, this medical implant company has made several different types of knee replacements—each one promising to act more like a natural knee and to provide much-needed relief to patients in pain.
Two types of Zimmer knee replacement devices that have recently been used in the United States are:
- Persona Knee System: The Persona system comes in different sizes and shapes and with a variety of constraint options. It is supposed to be personalized to each patient’s body.
- High Flex Knee Implant: In its marketing materials, Zimmer claims that the High Flex knee implant is revolutionary because it accounts for the differences between women’s knees and men’s knees. It was marketed to active patients who needed greater flexibility in their knee.
Unfortunately, a better quality of life has not always been the result with these knee replacements: serious side effects have been reported, and some components of these knee systems have been recalled.
Symptoms and Complications of Zimmer Knee Implants
Some of the specific problems associated with Zimmer’s High Flex knee implant and Persona knee system include:
- Radiolucent lines. Radiolucent lines are large gaps between the different parts of the knee replacement device or between the knee replacement and the bone. These gaps can result in serious problems such as joint fluid build-up, tissue damage, and bone damage caused by debris getting stuck in the gaps. Early failure of the knee replacement can also occur.
- Loose implants. Loose implants can result in swelling, tissue damage, and bone damage.
Some symptoms of these complications include:
- Persistent pain
- Loss of mobility
- Decreased range of motion in the knee joint
- Knee instability
- Tightness or stiffness of the knee
- Limping, difficulty putting weight on the knee, or difficulty walking
Any of these symptoms should be promptly reported to your doctor.
The History of Zimmer Recalls
The Persona knee system and the High Flex knee implant are not the first Zimmer implants to have reported adverse effects. Over the past few years, Zimmer has recalled multiple hip and knee devices, including:
- The Zimmer Durom Cup hip device in 2008. There were reported issues with the hip component staying in place.
- The NexGen Complete Knee Solution, MIS Tibial components, NexGen TM Tibial Trays and MIS Modular Tibial Plates and Keels in 2010.
- The NexGen LPS-Flex Gender Femoral Component in 2010.
- The Natural-Knee II Durasul All-Poly Patella in 2012. The FDA issued a Class II recall because the device was prone to fracture and failure. More than 100,000 devices had been implanted prior to the recall.
- The NexGen MIS Tibial components in 2014. This recall of about 40,000 NexGen knee devices occurred because screws were defective and associated with loosening and failure.
- The Zimmer Personal Tibial Articular Surface Provisional (TASP) Shim tool used in the Zimmer Persona knee surgeries in 2014.
- The Zimmer Persona porous coated, uncemented Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate in 2015 because of complaints of loosening and radiolucent lines. More than 11,000 devices were recalled.
Lawsuits Have Been Filed Against Zimmer Because of Knee Replacement Injuries
Zimmer is one of the largest manufacturers of knee replacement devices in the world, but the company is not above the law. Recently, patients who were injured by Zimmer knee replacements have filed lawsuits. The lawsuits claim that that the knee implants failed early and caused serious injuries. Currently, more than 1,000 federal lawsuits related to the failure of Zimmer NexGen Flex knee replacements are pending before a federal judge and the first trials are scheduled to occur later in 2015. Additional Flex lawsuits and Persona lawsuits may be filed in upcoming months as more patients suffer the significant consequences of a failed Zimmer knee replacement.
Contact Gray and White for Information on Filing a Zimmer Knee Implant Lawsuit If You’ve Been Hurt
If you have had knee implant surgery and you have suffered pain, lack of mobility, loosening of the device, or a popping in the joint then we encourage you to contact our experienced attorneys for more information about filing a Zimmer knee replacement lawsuit in Kentucky. Please start a live chat with us or call us directly at 888-450-4456 to schedule your free consultation.