American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons research shows that close to 90 percent of people who undergo knee replacement surgery end up experiencing much less pain. However, hundreds of people who received Zimmer Persona brand knee replacements found that their suffering had just begun after experiencing a variety of painful side effects such as, infection, joint tightness and loss of mobility. Many recipients of the Persona device have begun to file suit against Zimmer Biomet, claiming the unlisted side effects of the device adversely affected their way of life.
What Is Zimmer Persona
This Persona knee replacement system is designed restore mobility to restricted or immobile knee joints. The system is touted as being “a more personalized and anatomically accurate knee implant” by its manufacturer Zimmer Biomet. Approved for general use by The FDA in March of 2012, the Persona system saw production numbers of over 11,000 units. During the device’s 3 year reign as the top implant choice in America, reports began to mount that certain hardware that held the implant together was coming loose inside patients bodies. This loosening caused a host of supplemental problems. Under mounting pressure from doctors and The FDA, Zimmer (in conjunction with The FDA) issued a Class: II product recall for Persona in January 2015. This is being seen as a form of admitting guilt by many who have suffered at the hands of their Persona knee implant.
There are many reasons why a person would choose to opt into knee replacement surgery. Because it is a serious procedure, only a doctor and patient can properly weigh weather a knee replacement is right for them. However, any of the following symptoms may influence a doctor’s decision to recommend surgery as an option:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Traumatic arthritis
- Collagen disorders, and avascular necrosis of the femoral condyle
- Post-traumatic loss of joint configuration, usually with patellofemoral erosion, dysfunction or prior patellectomy
- Moderate valgus, varus and flexion deformities
- Failed previous surgical attempts to save the knee
- Flexion instability
Zimmer Persona Complications
With over 11,000 Zimmer Persona devices recalled by The FDA, it is estimated that hundreds of men and women have been hospitalized as a result of implant complications. Some of the complications associated with the malfunctioning device include:
- Persistent pain
- Loss of mobility
- Joint instability
- Joint tightness
These complications are due to a manufacturers defect that causes the Zimmer Persona to become unstable while inside a person’s body. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons states that, “Serious complications, such as knee joint infection, occur in fewer than 2 percent of patients.” However,these results are determined using knee replacement hardware that is reliable. With failing prosthetics fused to a patient’s bones, it is impossible to predict an actual rate of failure, but The FDA saw enough device malfunction to issue a comprehensive Class: II recall on the Persona system.
Zimmer’s Big Business
The decade between 1997 and 2009 saw an 80% jump in knee replacement procedures, making total knee replacements one of the most common comprehensive procedures performed in The USA. At an average of $49,500, the cost of a total knee replacement meant big business for prosthetic manufacturers including Zimmer. The company saw revenues of over $7 Billion USD in 2015 alone. With this kind of money at stake, it is no wonder why the device giant would do everything in its power to keep their defective products hush hush.
Zimmer Biomet’s history of lawsuits
Zimmer Biomet is no stranger to defective products. Since 2003 the company has paid out close to $100 Million USD in settlements due to faulty components that caused personal injury in patients. In the year 2012 alone, the device giant paid $56 Million to settle lawsuits brought against their flawed products. In the new millennium, Zimmer has been forced to recall 75 separate components to their prosthetic implants. Zimmer has not yet made any acknowledgment of guilt in their most recent recall. This has prompted many who have suffered due to device fracture, to file personal and Multidistrict Lawsuits against the multi billion dollar manufacturer.