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Frequently Asked Questions About Zimmer M/L Taper Hip Replacement Failure

Posted on 05/10/2019Back

Scientific studies have linked the Zimmer M/L taper and Zimmer M/L taper with Kinectiv technology hip devices to causing dangerous metal poisoning when implanted in the human body. A judge recently awarded $2 million to a man injured by a Zimmer M/L taper hip device with Kinectiv technology at a trial in New Mexico. There are currently several dozen lawsuits filed throughout the country against Zimmer for injuries caused by the hip device.

Why Is My Hip Replacement Failing?

Artificial hip replacements are meant to correct conditions of the hip and to provide support and pain relief to a patient. Some metal-on-metal hip devices have the potential to cause more damage than benefit due to metal-on-metal wear and metallosis. Studies have recently concluded that the Zimmer M/L taper hip replacement product can cause such metal wear.

Zimmer M/L Taper Failure Due to Metallosis

The Zimmer M/L taper and Zimmer M/L taper with Kinectiv technology hip prostheses are made up of several component parts. There is a neck piece and femoral stem that are to be inserted inside the human femur bone. The neck piece is connected to an artificial head, which is often the Zimmer VerSys head. The junctions of these pieces, where they connect together, can be problematic because the parts are made of metal.artificial hip joint diagram

While there are varying reasons why a hip implant may cause problems, one such reason has to do with metal-on-metal wear. Hip replacement failure can result from corrosion sustained at certain junctions of artificial hip implants made of metal. Interfaces susceptible to metal-on-metal wear include the area where the metal stem meets the metal neck or where the metal neck meets the head. The body joints move, resulting in these artificial hip parts moving and rubbing together. This can lead to the release of metallic particles into the bloodstream, negative reactions with the tissue, and additional complications that can require revision surgery.

The potential for metal-on-metal wear and resulting metallosis has been known since at least the early nineties. Yet manufacturers such as Zimmer still produced such a product, claiming it was safe.

In 2012, Zimmer recalled certain lots of Zimmer VerSys heads (often paired with the M/L taper neck and stem products) stating that there was a sub-optimal fit between the head and necks.

In 2013, the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Registry reported that the M/L taper with Kinectiv technology sustained revision rates greater than twice that of conventional hips.

In 2015, Zimmer recalled certain lots of its Zimmer M/L Taper with Kinectiv Technology hip products, citing concerns with cytotoxicity levels found within the product.

These products have been implanted in hundreds of patients. Several dozen lawsuits have been filed by individuals injured by the Zimmer M/L taper hip.

Acetabular Component Failure

An acetabular component failure can also occur due to metal-on-metal wear. This is similar to the neck-stem failure in theory, just involving different parts of the artificial hip component. Specifically, metal pieces of the acetabular system, the cup, ball, and liner, can unfortunately rub together, resulting in metallosis, corrosion, and metal wear. This can cause further damage to the surrounding tissue and muscles.

This type of acetabular failure was alleged to have occurred and the subject of thousands of lawsuits in the DePuy ASR and Pinnacle devices, in the Wright Conserve, Dynasty, and Lineage devices, the Zimmer Durom cup device, as well as the Biomet M2a Magnum product.

Billions of dollars in settlements have been awarded as a result of these acetabular failures.

How Do I Know What Kind of Hip I Have?

There are many different types of hip implant products on the market. The best way to find out what kind of hip you have is to go to the facility where your hip was implanted and ask for the sticker sheet for the barcodes or implant lists associated with the product put in your hip.

What Can Metallosis Cause?

Elevated metal levels indicate that a patient has metallosis, or metal poisoning. Metallosis is a common injury that patients experiencing a metal-on-metal hip replacement failure may suffer. Metallosis occurs because the metal-on-metal hip implants shed cobalt and chromium into the bloodstream. Common symptoms of metallosis include:

  • Increased pain
  • Pain at the hip site
  • Difficulty walking

Metallosis can cause damage to the tissue and muscle around the hip site, long lasting and permanent damage, severe pain, and often results in the need for a revision (removal of the hip device) surgery.

Metal-on-metal wear can unfortunately also lead to dissociation, which is the degradation of the components themselves from metallosis. The prosthesis can then detach from itself, often at the head-neck junction, and result in a collapse of the device components.

Dissociation is another risk inherent in the Zimmer M/L taper hip device.

Can I Pursue a Lawsuit?

Several dozen lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts throughout the country alleging metallosis and need for revision from the Zimmer M/L taper and M/L taper with Kinectiv technology hip devices. One lawsuit filed in New Mexico for injuries sustained from the Zimmer M/L taper with Kinectiv technology hip resulted in a $2 million award to the Plaintiff after a trial.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation recently ordered that Zimmer M/L taper cases in federal court be consolidated before one Judge, the Honorable Paul Crotty. The Zimmer M/L taper multidistrict litigation is currently ongoing in the Southern District of New York.

If you suspect you require or had to have a revision due to issues with a Zimmer hip device, reach out to GoldenbergLaw. Our experienced team will assess your case and determine if we can move forward with a lawsuit on your behalf.

What Should I do Next?

If you or a loved one is experiencing hip replacement failure and has metallosis, you should look no further than GoldenbergLaw. We have represented hundreds of clients with defective hip replacements. Contact GoldenbergLaw, and we will guide you through this process, fighting to get you the compensation you deserve. GoldenbergLaw delivers the gold standard advocacy you deserve.

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