Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex Knee Replacement Problems Belong to Patient
Last year, Dr. Richard A. Berger, a notable orthopedic surgeon who had been paid millions in consulting fees by the company, expressed his concerns about the company’s NexGen CR-Flex model. A 2010 report, entitled “The High Failure of a High-Flex Total Knee Arthoplasty Design” determined that 8.3% percent of the 108 observed patients, who had been fitted with the device experienced device failure within 2 years required Zimmer knee revision surgery. Thirty-six percent of the same group experienced loosening of the implant, a symptom that could also lead to an early knee revision.
Nearly all problems involved an aspect of the device that was supposed to make it safer than alternative knee replacements. The Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex Knee device uses no fixative to bind the femur to the replacement joint, reducing the risk that cement particles will escape into the surrounding joint or bloodstream. The problem, Dr. Berger determined, isn’t the lack of cement in itself. Rather, it is the way in which this particular Zimmer model bends so as to keep bone from fusing to the cement-free device.
His personal conclusion according to the report: “The device should not be used on any patient.”
Since going public with his observations, Dr. Berger has been cut from Zimmer’s payroll. He refuses to give his patients the NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral knee replacement component even as scores of other orthopedists across the globe continue to implant it in their patients.
With mounting media exposure, recipients are beginning to take a stand against Zimmer. Many have finally realized that the pain they experience in their replacement joints is not normal. It is not a necessary side effect of a new life with a new knee.
Attorneys are currently evaluating cases involving Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex knee failure and revision surgery. It is still uncertain whether Zimmer knee litigation will be consolidated into a class action lawsuit or multidistrict litigation.
People who have experienced Zimmer knee problems or had Zimmer knee revision should be sure to communicate with their surgeon for diagnosis and to explore their options.