W&L Exploring Reports of Zimmer ProxiLock Hip Femur Fracture Rates

Prompted by a recent study, Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. is investigating the ProxiLock Hip Prosthesis stem manufactured by Zimmer Inc. The implant was originally manufactured by Implex Corp., and was given 510(k) approval by at least October, 2002. Zimmer Inc. announced an agreement to acquire Implex in November, 2003.

The study, “Increased Risk of Periprosthetic Femur Fractures Associated With a Unique Cementless Stem Design” by Watts et al., published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, found that individuals who had undergone surgery in which they received a hydroxyapatite-coated ProxiLock stem had a significantly higher rate of postoperative femur fracture, five times the risk compared with the other stems studied.

According to Watts, significantly more patients implanted with a ProxiLock stem suffered a fracture required stem revision or reoperation. Both of these are more complicated procedures and require greater preparation than primary hip replacement surgery. Patients who had a ProxiLock stem had an increased risk of fracture requiring reoperation over eight times that of the other stems examined, and also had over nine times the risk of fracture requiring stem revision. These patients also experienced “significantly worse implant survival at all times of follow-up assessment.”

Zimmer Discontinues Production of ProxiLock Hip Prosthesis

Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Indiana, Zimmer markets hip, knee, and shoulder replacement implants. Implex Corp. was founded in 1991 and was headquartered in New Jersey.

The FDA approved the Implex Corp. application for its ProxiLock Hip Prosthesis stem through its 510(k) process in 2002. Zimmer has, according to the Watts study, recently discontinued manufacturing the device. There has been no recall to date. Concerns remain, however, because many patients have had the ProxiLock Hip Prosthesis implanted. There were 736 ProxiLock stems included in the Watts study alone.

Even though, according to the 510(k) application, Implex Corp., ProxiLock’s original owner and manufacturer, designed this prosthesis with the younger, healthier, more active patient in mind, the stem is indicated for patients requiring total hip replacement surgery for arthritis, trauma or a failed total hip replacement procedure.

W&L Offering Free Consultation to Individuals with Implant

Individuals choose to undergo hip replacement surgery for a variety of reasons. These include trauma and certain types of diseases, which may affect people of all ages.

However, the most common reason someone decides on hip replacement surgery is osteoarthritis. Typically, this disease does not strike until 40 years of age or older, and most people who opt for total hip replacement are between 50 and 80 years of age. Currently, more than 285,000 patients undergo total hip replacement procedures each year.

If you underwent hip replacement surgery and experienced a fracture or required revision of your Zimmer ProxiLock Hip Prosthesis stem, W&L invites you to contact us about your legal rights and potential for compensation. You may have a viable claim against the manufacturer.

Revision surgeries can be complex and costly. Depending on your circumstances, you could be entitled to reimbursement for the cost of that surgery along with hospitalization and other related services.

You also might be entitled to compensation for any lost income. This would be not only for the recovery time following your revision surgery; it could also apply if you were unable to work for an extended period of time due to complications caused by a fracture or the need for revision of your Zimmer ProxiLock Hip Prosthesis stem.

Other forms of compensation might be available as well.

To discuss your situation with us further, we encourage you to contact W&L for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation regarding your legal rights and potential for compensation. You can reach us toll-free by calling (800) 476-6070 or online by using our form or live chat.

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