Studies Heighten Concerns Over Zimmer ProxiLock Hip Prosthesis


Hip problems can make movement painful, causing Americans to forego favorite hobbies and even daily activities. These and other joint problems may be caused by diseases, such as arthritis, or a fracture. Hip problems can also be caused by repetitive movement, or just normal wear-and-tear.

Fortunately, there are options that make it possible for men and women to move about and enjoy their lives free of joint and hip pain. Physicians may first recommend options such as diet, exercise, therapy and medications to reduce body fat and keep pain at bay. When these options fail to produce results, hip replacement surgery may be recommended.

Having a hip replaced requires major, invasive surgery. Hip replacement surgery requires that a patient’s cartilage and bone be removed, and replaced with prosthetic parts. Two areas are repaired during this process: the ball at the top of the thighbone and the pelvic socket.

Medical device manufacturer Zimmer has developed and manufactured a variety of devices to fit these needs. One such device is the Zimmer ProxiLock Hip Prosthesis. This metal stem is placed into the femur, and anchored to the femoral head. Once fixated, the device is inserted into the pelvic socket.

The Zimmer ProxiLock was specifically developed for use in younger patients, who would be very active and mobile. While this device can help many patients with hip problems lead normal, pain-free lives, some patients have experienced adverse events following implantation of the prosthesis. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nine patients have suffered femoral fractures after implantation of the device.

Studies also show that the Zimmer ProxiLock Hip Prosthesis is prone to femoral fractures, due to the stem’s design. The stem is made of hydroxyapatite, which naturally occurs in bones. The stem, in this case, is tapered at such an angle that it places the patient at risk for developing femoral fractures. Patients, who suffered fractures, have had to undergo additional surgeries to repair the damage and to replace the stem.

No recall has been issued at this time. Zimmer continues to manufacture and market the ProxiLock Hip Prosthesis. Other Zimmer hip devices have been the subject of past FDA warnings and recalls. In November 2012, the FDA issued a Class II Device Recall, pending additional testing of the Zimmer Trilogy Acetabular Cup. In Fall 2008, the FDA issued a Class I Recall for the Zimmer Durom Cup Acetabular device.

If you or a loved one has required corrective procedure, following implantation of a Zimmer ProxiLock device, call the defective medical device lawyers of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP now. We will provide you with a free, confidential consultation. Call now.

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