Nearly one in 20 Americans (more than four million people) aged 50 or older have artificial knees, according to the Associated Press. This is the first national estimate that indicates how common knee replacements have become. In 1930, America's older population was less than 7 million, which was only 5.4 percent of the population. Now, those age 65 and older now exceed 35 million, and 1 in 5 people are expected to be 65 or older by 2035.
Medical device manufacturers are no doubt counting on sales skyrocketing because the first wave of baby boomers reached retirement age in 2011. But that doesn't appear to be the case with Zimmer products. Zimmer net sales grew just over five percent in 2011 from 2010, but the company attributes that growth to markets other than the US market, where it "went flat."
William just turned 65, one of the first boomers. He says he is very concerned about Zimmer's history and will not be getting another Zimmer NexGen knee for his corrective surgery scheduled next month. "I had a total knee replacement for Patellar Clunk Syndrome in October 2010, but I had so much pain and instability that I had to cancel a trip overseas," says William. "The instability caused me to fall on several occasions and now my orthopedic surgeon says I need revision surgery. I made certain that he won't be replacing this NexGen knee with another Zimmer knee."
As soon as Susie's surgeon told her that her only option to alleviate the pain and limited range of motion was revision surgery, she filed a claim against Zimmer.
Question: How many Zimmer NexGen Knee patients does it take to change a light bulb?
"I was better off before I had this NexGen replacement knee," says Susie. "Now I can't even climb a couple of steps on a step stool or ladder to change a light bulb.
READ MORE ZIMMER NEXGEN LEGAL NEWS
A number of lawsuits have been filed as part of the multidistrict litigation (MDL) now underway in US District Court, Northern District of Illinois. The lawsuits allege the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex component is defective and has caused plaintiffs to undergo revision surgery. Attorneys argue that the plaintiffs are entitled to receive compensatory damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress, and any financial losses and punitive damages.