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What is a Zimmer Hip?

The Zimmer Hip is a hip replacement system and the Zimmer Durom Cup is a newer type of hip replacement component, made with a single piece of material. Zimmer is the world's largest manufacturer of hip replacement parts and its Durom Acetabular Component (Durom Cup) model has been in the US market since 2006, where it is primarily used in Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) surgeries. As well, the Durom Cup has been used abroad for hip resurfacings. 

Many people with Zimmer hips have reported severe pain and other problems after having the implant.

I’m confused: Which Zimmer hips are having problems?

Many patients are confused because there are a number of Zimmer Hip Replacement Products on the market. Most patients are having problems with the Zimmer Durom Cup hip replacement. This defective Zimmer hip is also referred to as the “Zimmer Metasul Durom Hip Replacement”.  Metasul is a hip implant component that reinforces the plastic cup with a metal liner and the Zimmer Durom cup is the cup component.

 Adding to some of the confusion is that another Zimmer product--a knee replacement--has also been in the news recently due to reported failure rates with it. The Zimmer knee replacement component in question is the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex knee replacement component.

So there hasn’t been a Zimmer hip recall?

To date, the Zimmer Durom Cup has not been recalled. Instead of recalling Zimmer defective hip replacements, Zimmer Inc. decided to temporarily halt selling its product until orthopedic surgeons were better trained. The Indiana-based manufacturer said it did not uncover evidence of any manufacturing defect or design defect, and a recall was not issued.

However, Zimmer suspended sales of the Durom Cup in July 2008 after reports alleged that the cup was defective. The company also sent a letter to surgeons and patients recommending that doctors monitor patients' Durom hips closely. After a very brief sales suspension, Zimmer began selling its Durom Hip Cup and to this day it is still being sold.

Why hasn’t the FDA taken the Zimmer Hip off the market?

The FDA can only recommend that a product or medical device be recalled and taken off the market. The FDA is monitoring cases of Durom hip replacement failures; you can read more on the FDA website.

Why are there problems with the Durom hip implant?

Several orthopedic surgeons, including Dr. Larry Dorr, a prominent orthopedic surgeon and Director of the Dorr Institute for Arthritis Research and Education, have announced that the Durom hip socket is poorly designed and therefore defective.

The hip implant cup was found to be loose in numerous patients due to a lack of bonding with the patients' bone, which has caused many patients to undergo revision surgery. According to Dr. Dorr, there is a circular cutting surface on the periphery of the cup that prevents the cup from fully seating. Dorr and other surgeons stopped using the cup after the first revisions.

How do I know if I have the Zimmer Durom Cup rather than another type of Zimmer hip replacement or even another brand?

Ask your orthopedic surgeon for your medical report, or contact the hospital where you had your hip replacement surgery. Remember, it is your right to obtain this information. An attorney can also help you obtain all medical records.

I’m in a lot of pain. Am I facing revision surgery?

Dr. Dorr reported that a very high rate of Durom hip cups implanted at his clinic needed to be surgically removed and replaced within two years of implantation. Without revision surgery, existing bone is being damaged and destroyed through the friction created by the loose Zimmer hip replacement. It is likely that Zimmer hip revision surgery would be required to end this debilitating pain and correct the defect. However, only your phsyician or orthopedic surgeon can make that determination for you based on your unique circumstances.

My surgeon confirmed that I have the Zimmer Durom Cup, so what is the next step?

If your surgeon has advised you to undergo revision surgery, it is important that you contact an experienced product liability lawyer first, who will advise you not to sign Zimmer's release of liability forms. Signing Zimmer’s release means that you are giving up your rights and that could prevent you from filing a Zimmer Hip claim. Your attorney will ask you for medical reports, including operative reports for the original joint replacement surgery and the revision surgery.

Be sure to request from your surgeon the parts of the Zimmer Durom hip system that were removed from your body during revision surgery—these parts can be used as evidence and may help your claim.

What are common Zimmer Hip Problems?

Reports of Zimmer Durom hip replacement problems began shortly after the cup component was introduced in 2006. Patients returned to their orthopedic surgeons complaining of pain, decreased mobility, and a sense that the replaced hip was loosening.

Typically patients have problems within the first two years of receiving a Durom Cup hip, even though “in the first year the x-rays looked perfect,” said Dr. Dorr. However, as time goes by the number of device failures may continue to increase. Zimmer hip problems include:
  • Damage to surrounding bone
  • Decreased mobility
  • Failure of hip implant to bond with bone
  • Loosening of the hip implant
  • Persistent pain
  • Prolonged healing time
Are there risks involved with hip revision surgery?

Most all surgeries pose an element of risk and trauma, but even more so when patients need to undergo invasive Zimmer hip revision surgery to replace a defective Zimmer Durom cup. They are faced with additional pain and suffering from the prolonged healing time.

Have Zimmer Durom Cup Lawsuits been filed?

Yes. Because of the trauma many patients have suffered—either through a revision surgery or even facing another surgery, they have filed Zimmer Durom hip lawsuits. And lawsuits against Zimmer are ongoing.

Zimmer Hip Lawsuits have been filed in multiple federal courts nationwide.  To date, a Zimmer class action lawsuit has not been launched. Instead, Zimmer hip lawsuits have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) pursuant to a June 2010 court order.  The order assigned all federal Zimmer hip lawsuits to the District of New Jersey. You can also choose to file your own Zimmer hip lawsuit.

How do I know if I qualify for a Zimmer Hip lawsuit?

If you have a Zimmer hip and have experienced pain, you may be able to file a lawsuit. An experienced medical products attorney can help determine if you have a claim. Generally, the years in question for Zimmer Durom implants with possible problems are from 2006 to 2008.
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Last updated on Mar-23-11

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