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Oguz Ozdemir
Oguz Ozdemir
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Zimmer Durom Cup

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In 2006 the Zimmer Company developed the Durom Cup, a major component used in hip replacement surgery. The cup was made of cobal chromium alloy and was marketed especially for use in younger, more active people who would more than likely outlive a regular hip replacement.

But as more and more patients began complaining of agonizing pain just a few months out from the operation, it was becoming apparent that something was very wrong here. You had lower risk patients and excellent candidates for this new product and yet the patients were in worse shape after having the hip replacement than they were before.

Ironically, an orthopedic sugeon for the Zimmer Company was the first one to discover problems with the device. Dr. Lawrence Dorr began noticing that the Durom Cup was not settling in to the hip socket as it was supposed to but rather separated from it and even moved around. As the cup rubbed against the hip socket it generated excruciating pain in his your patients.

X-rays confirmed his suspicions and when Dr. Dorr began to warn his fellow orthopedic surgeons about the apparent defect in the Durom Cup some reported similar results. Dr. Dorr went to the big shots at Zimmer but his findings not only fell on deaf ears, they actually blamed his surgical procedures for the problems the patients reported. Dr. Dorr has performed over 5,000 hip replacement procedures during his decades long career.

With the Zimmer Company providing no response let alone solutions, Dr. Dorr took his findings to the American Association for Hip and Knee Surgeons. This finally got the attention of Zimmer but the Durom Cup was still implanted in another 1,300 patients in the United States. At this point more than 12,000 hip replacement surgeries had been performed using the Durom Cup. Even though their own investigations proved that there was something amiss with the device, the Zimmer Company still blamed the surgeons but eventually stopped selling the Durom Cup in the United States.

To take a lower risk group of people such as young active adults, implant a hip transplant component and then have it not work after just two months is a serious situation, especially for a procedure that should last from 15 to 20 years. To get the reported results from an orthopedic surgeon that your own company pays as a consultant has to be devastating. But to ignore the results and keep letting additional patients receive the defective device and suffer the consequences is unconscionable.

If you have had hip replacement surgery using the Durom Cup you should be working closely with your orthopedic surgeon. But you should also contact the law firm of Napoli Bern Ripka for a complimentary consultation. You may be eligible to receive compensation if you have suffered pain or injury as a result of the negligence of the Zimmer Company. Call today for a free consultation at 1-888-LAW-IN-NY.

1 Comment

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  1. anon says:
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    Mr. Ozdemir

    A very fine article.

    I have my own theory about the Durom Cup. Note that (as opposed to other designs that require conical bone screws to fasten to the bone socket) this Durom coarse surface cup with its circumferential fins is press-fit only into the socket. Now, note that it was marketed for younger adults.
    The problem is that the cups are coming loose. Some are loose, yet give a false positive when examined – as they float – and often return to the correct nesting position.
    I suspect this is not a problem in older patients, who do no have the same active sporting lifestyle as younger patients.
    Zimmer’s response is that the press-fit design requires more precision than the fastener designs, and they hint the problem is with unskilled surgeons. Yet, the first surgeon to blow the whistle was one of Zimmer’s own, and they ignored his warnings.
    From what Zimmer claims, there have been no defects other than in USA patients. Note that the USA has a slightly different coating (due to FDA rules) and a slightly different application.
    I further suggest that studies show that the average young USA adult is more overweight than their foreign counterparts, which contributes to the displacement of the cup.
    What did Zimmer’s internal investigation of CAD design revision history reveal? Where there associated changes that were approved that coincide with the date code laser engraved on the faulty implants?
    A true press fit requires a very tight control on the contour and dimensional tolerance of the socket, and in my opinion should be limited only to mating parts that are slightly tapered in design, such as tool makers who use tapered dowel pins in slightly (usually .0004″) undersized machined holes. Any skilled trades tool maker will tell you that no surgeon should attempt to achieve a press-fit using s semi-spherical cup with fins at its equator. That’s like sticking a bowling ball 1/2 deep into a wet cement wall, then trying to hang on to the bowling ball after it sets, while performing aerobics.