Zimmer Hip Implants

Hugh James is one of four law firms who have been appointed by the court under a Group Litigation order (GLO) to represent those who have been affected by illness or injury following a hip operation using Zimmer Metasul Large Diameter Head and Durom Metal on Metal Hip replacements. In total over 90 claimants are proceeding with claims against the manufacturers, Zimmer GmbH and Zimmer Limited based in Switzerland and Swindon, rather than the hospitals that implanted the hip replacement.

The Zimmer hip was designed to provide higher levels of mobility and durability to the patients who received it.  However, the Zimmer Metasul and Zimmer Durom Metal on Metal Hip replacements have experienced higher levels of failure than expected.  A typical hip implant should have a failure rate no higher than 3.5% over a seven year period; the Zimmer hip implants have experienced a rate of 9.45%.

Common problems associated with the Zimmer hip implant

The main problems associated with the Zimmer hip implants include cup loosening and metal wear.

Cup loosening is a significant problem for patients as it leads to instability of the hip joint, which can leave patients in a lot of pain and leads to lower levels of mobility.  The other problem associated the Durom hip replacement is metal wear.  Many patients who had the Durom hip replacement fitted suffered from an adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD), where particles of metal from the  Durom hip components were produced entered their blood stream.

Patients who received defective Zimmer hip implants may experience the following physical symptoms:

  • Pain or aching in the hip joint and groin
  • Reduced mobility
  • Difficulty sleeping

Some patients who have Zimmer hip implants may not experience any physical symptoms of failure.

Abnormal blood test results and x-rays can also be signs of a defective Zimmer hip implant. If you’re suffering from any of the above symptoms you should contact your doctor for advice.

Making a claim for faulty Zimmer Implants

If you believe your health has suffered as a result of being implanted with a faulty Zimmer hip component, unfortunately the deadline issued by the high court to join the group register to take action against Zimmer closed on 30 October 2015. Therefore, you would not be able to proceed with a claim if you have been implanted with a faulty Zimmer hip component. However, if you are unsure of the make, model or manufacturer of your hip component you can still speak to any member of our specialist hips team over the phone for free, initial advice. We can either take further details over the phone, or if you would prefer, a member of our hips team can arrange to meet you in person, at a time and place to suit you to determine if you have a claim against one of the other hip component manufacturers. We can offer a no win, no fee arrangement on your case.

What is the Zimmer Hip Replacement?

Zimmer is a manufacturer of a number of hip replacement devices and parts. In 2003, Zimmer introduced the Zimmer Durom range to the UK hip replacement market. These products included the Zimmer Durom Cup with a Metasul Head and Zimmer stem, which acted as a total hip replacement, and the Zimmer Durom Cup, fitted alongside a Zimmer Durom femoral component which was a hip resurfacing implant.

Existing hip replacement products were limited in size and shape and required surgeons to fit the bone to the replacement hip, rather than the replacement to the bone. Smaller device heads didn’t provide the range of motion needed for an active lifestyle, and while larger device heads did provide a greater range of motion, they also caused more wear and tear on the hip replacement device, which affected the durability of these hip replacements. The Zimmer hip replacement aimed to solve these problems by supposedly allowing more durability and motion than other hip replacement products. The Durom Cup also featured ‘fins’, which aimed to prevent instability and cup loosening by locking the implant in to the bone, encouraging the bone to grow in to the cup and fuse it in place, eliminating the need for screws or cement.

How do I know if I have a Zimmer hip implant?

All patients who received Zimmer hip implants should currently be under review by the hospital that fitted the implant, so that they can be monitored. Regular blood tests can detect abnormal levels of metal in the blood which will indicate if the implants are causing an adverse reaction. If you have had a hip replacement, but are worried or unsure which type you have had implanted, you should contact your doctor for advice.

When components are implanted into a patient a product label will be documented in a patient’s hospital records. The component labels will record the identity of the manufacturer and all batch and reference numbers. This information is also entered on a central register at the National Joint Registry (NJR). Patients can obtain the information from the hospital they received treatment from, or the NJR.

Do I need to get my Zimmer hip replaced?

Not all Zimmer hip implants have been affected, but the Zimmer hip replacement has experienced higher levels of failure than expected. The Zimmer Durom acetabular components are failing at a rate of 9.45 % at 7 years when it should be no more than 3.5 %.

Typical symptoms of Zimmer implant failure include:

  • Pain or aching in the hip joint and groin
  • Reduced mobility
  • Difficulty sleeping

Some patients who have Zimmer hip implants may not experience any physical symptoms of failure. Abnormal blood test results and x-rays can also be signs of a defective Zimmer hip implant.

All patients affected should currently be under review by their hospital, however If you are concerned that you may have a Zimmer hip implant or have concerns about any other hip joints then you should contact your doctor for advice.

How long do I have to make a claim?

Claims for defective products must be brought within 10 years of the date that the product left the control of the manufacturer and was put into circulation. This is usually shortly after the date of manufacture. Claims must also be brought within 3 years of the patient knowledge that their hip has failed.

Who will be handling my Zimmer hip claim?

Mark Harvey is the head of the claimant division and specialises in faulty consumer product cases. Mark has obtained compensation for many individual victims of common but defective consumer productsMark is the court appointed lead solicitor coordinating over 1,000 claimants in actions arising out of the recall and health alert relating to the French manufacturer’s PIP breast products. He is also responsible for leading claims concerning various injuries and complaints from medical devices including Zimmer and De Puy hip prostheses.

Mark is regularly called upon by leading bodies and the media to provide legal comment on faulty product cases. Mark leads a team of specialist lawyers all of whom are experienced in pursuing these types of cases. Anyone of them will be happy to provide advice in respect of a claim against Zimmer.

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