Biomet, Inc. was established in 1977, and is a family of companies that design, manufacturer, and market orthopedic products. Recently, the company has come under fire concerning its metal-on-metal (MoM) hip replacement products, like many manufacturers for MoM devices. Previously, certain ceramic components were part of a 2001 Biomet hip replacement recall, and most recently the Biomet M2A-Magnum metal-on-metal hip device has been linked to complications like premature loosening and metal toxicity.
Those patients who have been injured by Biomet products may be eligible for a Biomet hip replacement lawsuit.
Biomet Hip Replacement Recall
In September 2001, the FDA announced that Biomet would be implementing a Biomet ceramic hip replacement recall. Biomet, along with seven other companies, had found the zirconia ceramic femoral head they were using was defective, increasing the risk of fracture after only 13 to 27 months. Patients who suffered this injury had to go through revision surgery to have the component replaced.
St. Gobain Desmarquest of France had distributed the defective components for Biomet. The recall withdrew all defective components from the market, and affected all those that were made after January of 1998 through the time of the recall.
Patients suffering from hip failures because of the defective components typically experienced hip pain, a popping or cracking sound, limited range of motion, and a grinding sensation at the hip. Those who had to have the implant replaced often went on to file a Biomet hip replacement lawsuit.
Reports of Problems with the All-Metal Biomet Implant
The FDA approved the Biomet M2A-Magnum hip in 2004. Unlike the previous hip implant, which included the ceramic component, the M2A was an all-metal hip implant, meaning that all components were made of metal. Biomet marketed the new implant as a better alternative for younger, more active patients. It was supposed to be more durable with improved stability and range of motion, but post-marketing reports indicated several complications, including severe pain and metallosis.
Similar to the all-metal DePuy ASR hip implant, which was recalled in 2010, the Biomet M2A has a metal femoral head and a metal pelvic cup. These components are made of cobalt and chromium. In some cases, during normal wear and tear, these components can wear against one another in a defective way, releasing tiny shards of metal into the surrounding tissues and bloodstream. This metal debris can then cause pain, joint and tissue damage, and even metal poisoning.
Studies Showing Problems with Metal-on-Metal Devices
On May 6, 2011, the FDA issued orders to 21 manufacturers of metal-on-metal implants, requiring additional surveillance studies that address specific safety issues related to these devices. The agency has since noted that patients with these implants may be at risk for complications like pain, swelling, trouble walking, and metallosis.
On March 13, 2012, the scientific journal The Lancet published a study on metal-on-metal hip implants. Researchers concluded that these implants, particularly those with larger diameter head surfaces, failed at a higher rate than implants with ceramic or polyethylene components, and stated, “Metal-on-metal stemmed articulations give poor implant survival compared with other options and should not be implanted.”
A Biomet hip replacement lawyer is likely to use these and other similar studies in a Biomet hip replacement lawsuit, to show the link between these implants and serious complications, premature failures, and revision surgeries.
A Biomet Hip Replacement Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered from complications related to a Biomet hip implant, you deserve to have your complaints heard. The attorneys at Chaffin Luhana LLP will be happy to review your case and help you determine whether or not you may win compensation in a Biomet hip replacement lawsuit. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation at 1-888-480-1123.