Zimmer NexGen Knee

In 2003, Zimmer Holdings, Inc. introduced the NexGen CR-Flex Fixed Bearing Knee, a knee-replacement system designed to provide a greater range of motion for recipients. Zimmer subsequently developed different versions of the NexGen high-flex knees, including: a cemented version (which uses an adhesive to connect the thigh bone to the device) and a cement-less version (which bonds by natural bone ingrowths).

Although the NexGen high-flex knee models were designed to last approximately 15 years, Zimmer has come under scrutiny the last few years due to higher-than-normal rates of loosening and failure in certain high-flex femoral components.

Facts about Zimmer NexGen Knee Replacement:

  • At a conference of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in March 2010, several prominent knee surgeons presented data on the outcomes of 108 knee replacement patients.
  • The data showed that after only two years, 9 patients required knee revision surgery due to loosening and pain while 39 patients showed evidence of radiographic loosening.
  • Dr. Berger, one of the authors, called the failure rate “horrific” and collectively, the doctors stated that the system should not be used for “any patient.”
  • Dr. Berger had installed the device in 125 patients in 2005, but by early 2006, X-rays revealed that the knee devices were loose and had not fused completely to the thigh bone as intended. Berger reported this to Zimmer, but no action was taken.
  • In September 2010, NexGen complete knee solution MIS tibial components, locking screw and stem extensions were recalled after Zimmer received complaints of loosening of the implanted device.

Litigation News:

  • In August 2011, all federal lawsuits involving problems with Zimmer NexGen knee replacements were consolidated as part of an MDL (Multi-District Litigation) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, where they will be centralized for pretrial proceedings.
  • The cases are before the Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer.

If you or a loved one have or had a NexGen high-flex knee replacement and have had to replace prematurely or been diagnosed with loosening, find out how Johnson//Becker PLLC can help you. Fill out our case review form here on our website and submit it for a free consultation.

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