Consumer Alert: Studies Show High Early Failure Rates for Zimmer® NexGen® Flex Knee Implants

Studies Show High Early Failure Rates for Zimmer® NexGen® Flex Knee Implants

November 16, 2011

See also: Consumer Alert Update: Zimmer NexGen Flex Knee Implants Litigation (April 20, 2012)

The Zimmer® NexGen® Flex knee replacement system is manufactured and sold by Zimmer Inc., one of the nation's largest producers of implanted orthopedic devices. The NexGen® "Flex" implants are a line of "high-flex" knee implants designed to give knee replacement recipients greater range of motion.1 However, studies have shown that these high-flex implants can lead to physical pain, loosening, and instability in the knee, requiring removal and replacement of the implants.2

Reports of high levels of failure involved with the NexGen® Flex models were initially brought to the fore when Zimmer's own consultant, Dr. Richard Berger, brought the problems to the attention of Zimmer.3 In his practice, Dr. Berger had given about 125 patients the NexGen® CR-Flex device in 2005.4 However, by 2006 patients were reporting pain, apparently as a result of joint loosening.5 A subsequent study conducted by Dr. Berger showed a shockingly high incidence of failure with 36% of patients' implants being loose and 9.3% of patients requiring revision surgery to remedy the painful loosening.6

In light of the alleged high failure rate associated with the Zimmer® NexGen® Flex knees, numerous law suits have been filed across the country in an effort to provide Plaintiffs with compensation for their pain, suffering, and other physical injuries, cost of replacement surgery and other financial difficulties caused as a result of the failure of the Zimmer® NexGen® Flex knees. In order to address these suits, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation established MDL No. 2272, pending in Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), to handle the litigation surrounding the Zimmer® NexGen® Flex knees.7

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. is currently litigating and investigating potential claims on behalf of patients implanted with or injured by the Zimmer® NexGen® Flex knee.8 If you or a loved one believe you may have received one of the Zimmer® NexGen® Flex knee replacements and are experiencing problems with it, please feel free to contact our offices at 1-800-553-9910, or by email by clicking contact us.

2; H. S. Han et al., High Incidence of Loosening of the Femoral Component in Legacy Posterior Stabilised-Flex Total Knee Replacement, 89-B J. BONE JOINT SURG. 1457 (2007); Sung-Do Cho, et al., Three- to Six-year Follow Up Results After High-Flexion Total Knee Arthroplasty: Can We Allow Passive Deep Knee Bending?, 19 KNEE SURG. SPORTS TRAUMATOL ARTHROSC. 899 (2011).
4 Id.
5 Id.
8 Note that not all Zimmer NexGen knee products have shown this high failure rate. Products of particular interest are those that are "Flex" or "High-flex" products.


The articles on our website include some of the publications and papers authored by our attorneys, both before and after they joined our firm. The content of these articles should not be taken as legal advice. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or official position of Robins Kaplan LLP.


Holly H. Dolejsi


Deputy Chair, Mass Tort, Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Groups
Pronouns: she/her

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