July 7, 2014 — Over 1,000 lawsuits involving components of the NexGen Knee Replacement have been filed against Zimmer Inc. by people who say it was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous.
On June 16, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) updated a list of Pending MDLs by District (PDF), which reported 1,327 NexGen lawsuit pending against Zimmer, Inc. The litigation is overseen by U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois.
One of the most recent lawsuits was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas by James M. Cline, a resident of Iowa. He was implanted with the NexGen CR-FLEX Complete Knee Solution in November 2010. He began experiencing severe and debilitating pain and looseness. In November 2012, he had a second surgery to replace the Zimmer NexGen knee.
According to the complaint (PDF):
“Plaintiff began experiencing severe and debilitating pain … Plaintiff was later advised his Zimmer NexGen Knees were experiencing ‘loosening’ and would need to be revised. On November 12, 2012, Plaintiff had a second surgery to revise/replace the previously implanted Zimmer NexGen Knee.”
The Zimmer NexGen knee is a “high-flex” porous femoral component made of metal. A loose knee replacement can shed metal or plastic particles to accumulate around the knee joint, causing joint inflammation and swelling. This may result in osteolysis (bone loss), loss of bone in the knee, chronic pain, and/or permanent disability.
Many patients require additional surgery to remove and replace the defective knee replacement. Generally, results of a revision surgery are not as good as the original knee replacement. Unfortunately, revision surgery does not always cure complications.
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