Zimmer Knee Recall Info
A 2010 report entitled, “The High Failure Rate of a High-Flex Total Knee Arthroplasty,” based on the findings of a prominent orthopedic surgeon caused a stir within the community of orthopedic device specialists, surgeons, and recipients . The high-flex artificial knee implants, such as the models referenced above, typically last 15 years or longer. But according to the non-peer reviewed report, a percentage of patients studied who received a Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex knee replacement experienced knee failure within just a few years. Despite the surgeon’s recommendation that the “device not be used on any patient,” a Zimmer knee replacement recall was never initiated with regard to this model, and the device remains widely available to this day.
Rate of Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex Knee failure exposed by close company consultant
Worries about the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex device were first brought up in 2006 by a respected surgeon on Zimmer’s consulting payroll. Dr. Richard Berger of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, together with a colleague observed the performance of the NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral implant, which fuses to the femur without the use of cement. According to the surgeons whose report included observations of 108 patients, 36 percent of of NexGen CR-Flex recipients showed “radiographic loosening” as evidenced by x-rays indicating that their bones were not properly fusing with the device. The study indicated that 8.3% of the recipients experienced such painful loosening that they were forced to undergo knee revision surgery. An additional one percent were pending surgical revision.
Zimmer blamed Dr. Berger and his technique for the high rate of failure. The company that paid him more than $8 million over a decade for his cutting-edge expertise and insight, was now blaming him for a problem that he discovered. In 2009, Zimmer cut Dr. Berger from its payroll.
In June 2010, Dr. Berger spoke to the New York Times about the incident: “Suddenly, I went from someone who was their master teacher to someone who didn’t know what he was doing.”
Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex Knee still available today
Today, Zimmer continues to market its cement-less CR Flex device. However, Dr. Berge does use the product in his own patients.
As patient complaints mount, the demand for accountability grows. Zimmer knee lawyers are evaluating a growing number of Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex knee failure cases. Recipients of this model may wish to consult an attorney if they have experienced painful side effects or Zimmer knee failure.