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A Minnesota woman recently filed a new Zimmer hip lawsuit against defendants Zimmer, Inc. and Zimmer Holdings, Inc. The plaintiff claims that after she was implanted with the Zimmer Kinectiv Hip System, she suffered from serious injuries requiring complicated revision surgery.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The plaintiff seeks in excess of $75,000 in damages.

Plaintiff Implanted with Zimmer Kinectiv System, Suffers Metallosis

According to her complaint, the plaintiff went through a total left hip replacement on September 2, 2008. She was implanted with the Zimmer’s Kinectiv Hip system. According to the Zimmer website, this system is designed to “maximize range of motion” while giving surgeons a number of component options that help “equalize leg length” and “ensure optimum joint stability.” The product is also advertised as enabling the surgeon to “precisely match a wide range of male and female patient anatomies without compromise.”

The plaintiff states that at the time of her surgery, she received “defective, dangerous, hazardous and unsafe products” designed, manufactured, and distributed by Zimmer. Though the implantation was initially deemed to be successful, she later developed a condition called “metallosis” due to fretting and wear between the two metal components at the head-neck junction of the joint.

There was a delay in diagnosing this condition because, according to the plaintiff, the surgeon was uninformed about the potential risk of metallosis. This is a type of metal poisoning that can occur with some joint replacements that include metal components. Over time, these components can rub against one another, releasing microscopic metal particles into the bloodstream and the surrounding tissues.

As these toxic metals build up in the system, they can damage tissue, bone, and the nervous system. Patients may experience symptoms like nerve problems, thyroid problems, depression, visual and/or hearing impairment, skin rashes, heart problems, cognitive impairment (brain fog), and eventually, implant loosening.

Surgeons Find Evidence of Metal Wear During Revision Surgery

On October 23, 2015, the plaintiff had to go through hip revision surgery because of the metallosis. During the surgery, the surgeon noted that there was pericapsular necrotic tissue (tissue death), and brown metallic-stained fluid in the area of the hip device. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, “black sludge was identified where the Zimmer metal head was disimpacted from the Zimmer neck.”

The surgeon replaced the old Zimmer metal head with a new, ceramic head, along with a new liner and modular neck. The plaintiff alleged suffered from extensive pain and is likely to suffer long-term consequences from the metallosis.

Zimmer Failed to Warn About Risks Associated with Kinectiv Hip System

The FDA approved the first components of the Zimmer Kinectiv Hip System in 2007. The plaintiff says the defendants were aware of the problems caused by their components at that time, and they failed to sufficiently test their design before introducing it to the market. She adds that they could have informed surgeons and hospitals later on about the dangers of metal-against-metal components, but failed to do.

The plaintiff brings counts of manufacturing and design defect, failure to warn, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of warranties, and seeks compensatory damages.

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