Zimmer hip replacement has been making the news ever since Dr. Lawrence Dorr, renowned orthopedic surgeon and director of the Dorr Institute for Arthritis Research and Education, alerted doctors and the medical community in 2008 with regard to a high failure rate of the Durom Acetabular Component, otherwise known as the Zimmer Durom Cup.
In his communiqué to doctors, Dorr referenced 10 revisions out of 165 hip surgeries involving the Durom Cup, with four additional surgeries then in the pipeline to replace failed Zimmer defective hip replacements.
"This failure rate has occurred within the first two years," Dorr writes. "In the first year the x-rays looked perfect. We have revised four that did not have any radiolucent lines or migration (and John Moreland revised one). These early cups fooled us, but the symptoms were so classic for a loose implant that we operated on the patients. When we hit on the edge of the cup it would just pop free. As time goes by the cups begin developing radiolucent lines.
"We now have one cup at two years that has actually migrated a short distance. It has tilted into varus. We do not believe the fixation surface is good on these cups. Also there is a circular cutting surface on the periphery of the cup that we believe prevents the cup from fully seating. We stopped using the cup after the first revisions."
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Today, new treatment options together with a realization that joint issues can adversely affect a young person's lifestyle and livelihood for decades has fostered a willingness to address the issue in younger patients. Bernadette Pletcher is another hip replacement patient participating in an endorsement on YouTube. At 42, the mother of three underwent a total hip replacement. Assuming her hip replacements last a full 20 years, Pletcher may need further surgery at the age of 62.
For Jessica Nelson, further surgery would come, ideally, at the age of 33—not 15, were a Zimmer Durom Cup hip replacement fail her within two years.