Despite many serious alleged failures and patient complaints concerning the Zimmer NexGen artificial knee, Zimmer has no immediate plans to issue a recall. Zimmer continues to defend its high flex knees despite many scientific findings and studies that have reported problems. Total knee replacement patients who have suffered from any Zimmer knee failure, either pain and stiffness, or the more serious knee revision surgery, should consult with a Zimmer knee attorney to determine whether they may have a cause of action against Zimmer, possibly for damages.
Since the Zimmer NexGen artificial knee was approved for U.S. sale, many implant patients have experienced higher than normal Zimmer knee failure. Many such patients filed Zimmer knee lawsuits. They were encouraged when Zimmer did voluntarily suspend sales of its MIS tibial parts that are used in the artificial knee. However, Zimmer did not issue a complete NexGen knee recall.
Scientific reports and studies are now supporting the patients’ complaints. Many such studies conducted in the past few years have focused on early loosening of the component femoral parts of the knee replacement device. Studies conducted in 2008 and 2010 did find ample evidence of such early loosening.
The 2008 study by Dr. Kang found that 38 percent of the high flex knees had a specific type of Zimmer knee failure--premature loosening around femoral components, at an average of 32 months after being surgically implanted. By the same average time, 21 percent of patients experienced such pain and device loosening that they were forced to have revision surgery. The 2010 study also found a high rate of early loosening of the femoral parts.
Further, a 2011 study attempted to further discover the factors contributing to high flex Zimmer knee failure. Researchers created a 3-D knee model to determine the likelihood of femoral loosening at different degrees of knee flexion. They concluded that femoral loosening was more common at higher degrees of flexion — the attribute that Zimmer had highlighted as an advanced design feature.
With the evidence presented by the studies, Zimmer lawyers should be able to file Zimmer NexGen lawsuits, despite the lack of a recall by Zimmer.