Joint replacement has become commonplace over the past ten years. Aging joints which would normally cause the elderly to spend their twilight years walking with a cane can now be replaced. In addition, younger patients who suffer injuries and breakage may also benefit from a joint replacement.
Biomet, Inc. is one of the world’s leading medical device manufacturers which specializes in reconstructive products for hips, knees and shoulders, fixation devices, orthopedic support devices, dental implants, spinal implants and operating room supplies. Recently, Biomet has been plagued with the same hip replacement failures as many of their competitors.
Metal-on-metal hip replacements like the Biomet M2A Magnum have specific problems which are not present in implants consisting of other materials. Metal-on-metal hip replacements as a class are being revealed to be worse or, at best, no better than traditional metal on polyethylene hip replacements.
The British Medical Journal conducted a comprehensive study which concluded that metal-on-metal hip replacements provided no advantage over their counterparts. In addition, reported evidence from the three largest national joint registries found higher rates of implant revision associated with metal-on-metal implants compared with traditional metal on polyethelyne implants. Sedrakyan A., et al. Comparative Assessment of Implantable Hip Devices With Different Bearing Surfaces: Systematic Appraisal Of Evidence. British Medical Journal 2011;343:d7434.
So, the question then becomes, what causes the defect and in turn the need for further surgery? Defective hip implants have been known to dislodge, break and loosen. Even worse, a defective hip implant may cause inflammation and infection of the bone and soft tissue at the implant site, toxicity from the cobalt and chromium shed by the implant and problems with organs and tissue due to metal particles from the implant.
How Do I Know if My Biomet Implant is Faulty?
Most people experience the same basic symptoms:
- Tissue death
- Bone loss
- Metal blood poisoning
- Pain which limits your ability to walk and move freely
- Creaking and popping noises when walking
- Difficulty when standing from a sitting position
- Sensation that the hip is out of joint
- Pain in the hip, groin, thigh or lower back
Artificial hips are supposed to last between 20 and 25 years. Discovering that you will have to undergo revision surgery within a few years of implant because of a defect in a hip replacement system would upset anyone. This is compounded by the fact that hip revision surgery, when compared to the original hip prosthesis operation, can be a more difficult procedure because of the loss of the patient’s bone. Hip revision surgery often has a less successful result than the original hip replacement operation. Additionally, the recovery time is much greater and usually reaches six months before the patient is able to walk without a cane.