In response to various postings on the internet by lawyers advising of a high failure rate with certain models of the Zimmer Nexgen knee replacement, Zimmer sent cease and desist letter to a number of law firms and even filed suit against some lawyers for their postings. (To see a copy of a cease and desist letter, click here).
Zimmer may have a point in clarifying that the “Nexgen” brand, first sold in 1994, has several different knee replacements models (CR, CR Flex, LPS, LPS Flex, Gender Solutions for example), and that each comes in various combinations, many of which are not implicated in the reported high failure rates. However, in making these points, Zimmer relies primarily on data from the Australian National Joint Replacement Registry report 2010 (http://www.dmac.adelaide.edu.au/aoanjrr/publications.jsp) . While the registry has lots of good data, it does not provide answers related to recent reports of high failure rates of certain knee devices (for example http://www.arthroplastyjournal.org/article/S0883-5403(10)00627-3/abstract) . The Australian registry does not even break down the surgeries by conventional versus minimally invasive surgery(MIS).
While many of the Nexgen models have relatively low failure rates, the MIS procedure is used on a relatively small percentage (although a significant number of cases overall). In the united States there are at least two studies linking some Nexgen models to high failure rates and recommending discontinuing use of certain Nexgen models until further study is completed. It seems certainly within the boundaries of reasonableness for lawyers to advise prospective clients of this information, especially if they may have a claim or lawsuit which could be negatively affected by the Statute of Limitations in their home state.
Most patients do not know which model of knee implant they received and many do not even know the manufacturer. Broad based postings to alert the recipients of knee replacements allows them to investigate for themselves the reason they had problems, including revision, or to find a lawyer who can investigate this for them.
Product Identification Notice: In any of our web pages referring to Zimmer NexGen products, these pages are intended to provide information about and are referring to the same Zimmer products that were identified by Dr. Berger in his presentation and study entitled "The High Failure Rate of a High-Flex Total Knee Arthroplasty Design," and were written about in the NY Times article titled "Surgeon vs. Knee Maker: Who’s Rejecting Whom?," and that are reported in the FDA MAUDE database, where reports involving the Zimmer NexGen CR Flex Cementless or Porous Femoral component can be found and also those products associated with aseptic loosening of the Zimmer MIS Tibial Component that led certain doctors to discontinue its use, and to recommend discontinued use of this product in primary TKA until the etiology of the high early failure rate of this implant is determined. See prospective studies comparing the results of the Zimmer MIS Tibial Component using conventional and minimally invasive exposures as well as comparing fixation with different types of bone cement as described in Early Aseptic Loosening With a Precoated Low-Profile Tibial Component A Case Series. Not all Zimmer NexGen products are involved in our investigations and lawsuits.
James Ronca is a civil trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience. As an attorney with Anapol Weiss in Philadelphia, PA, his practice includes pharmaceutical and medical device cases, major car and truck collision cases, and construction site injury litigation. Jim has won complex crash cases with multiple plaintiffs and defendants including cases involving as many as 47 vehicles.