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Zimmer Nexgen Knee Lawsuit Claims Loosening of Implant Causes Injuries

In a federal lawsuit, an Illinois resident claims his defective Zimmer Nexgen artificial knee forced him to have a second replacement surgery, which caused ongoing pain and loss of bone. Plaintiff Doug Almon, of Coal City, in his July 6, 2011 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Zimmer, Inc., claims that because his Nexgen artificial knee was designed to be more flexible, its parts are more prone to loosen and fail. He claims these potential Zimmer knee complications were not disclosed to him or his physician prior to his surgery. This Zimmer Nexgen knee lawsuit also claims that second replacement operations are problematic because of bone loss caused by the first artificial joint, which makes it more difficult for users to maintain stability and walk.

The complaint describes the Zimmer Nexgen artificial knee as having a “high-flex” femoral component designed to allow more flexibility. The plaintiff claims unnamed studies show knee replacements with a higher flexion are more likely to fail because their parts are more likely to loosen. This plaintiff alleges that the Nexgen knee, while marketed and sold as being safe, was in fact defective and unreasonably dangerous. Though Zimmer is accused of false and deceptive advertising, the company claims that there is no reason to believe the NexGen knee product is unsafe for its intended use.

Alleged Zimmer knee complications causing ongoing problems

According to Mr. Almon’s complaint, his Nexgen Knee system, with a NexGen CR-Flex femoral component, was implanted on November 17, 2008. The plaintiff allegedly felt severe and debilitating pain afterwards, returning to his physician several times as a result. In 2010, the first artificial knee was replaced with another, due to its loose parts. Despite the second revision surgery, the plaintiff claims he continues to suffer serious bodily injury and harm.

He seeks multiple damages in this Zimmer Nexgen knee lawsuit, including economic losses for the cost of medical care, rehabilitation and lost income. Recovery is also sought for permanent instability and loss of balance, immobility, and pain and suffering, for which he seeks compensatory and equitable damages, and declaratory relief. The plaintiff also seeks future damages and attorneys’ fees.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have Zimmer knee replacement systems

According to the complaint, Zimmer started operation in 1927 and manufactures a number of different orthopedic devices. The defendant has produced knee replacement systems since 1968. The Zimmer NexGen Complete Knee Solution became one of its most successful products after it was approved by the FDA in 1995. Nearly 500,000 patients have received the Zimmer knee replacement system since its inception. In 2001, Zimmer, Inc. introduced the NexGen Flex components, which allow versions of the system to provide patients greater flexibility and overall movement, with the goal of helping patients maintain active lifestyles. The components were advertised as being reliable and designed to be gender specific in order to fit patients better. Some Zimmer knee components have been linked to higher than anticipated failure rates and other complications after entering the market.

Physicians tend to recommend knee replacement surgery after physical therapy, medication, and other conservative forms of treatment for arthritis, injuries or other conditions have failed. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, nearly 500,000 people receive knee replacements every year in the United States.