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Biomet Hip Replacements


Biomet manufacturers artificial hips, including the M2a Magnum, Stanmore and Exceed ABT. These implants can cause a variety of complications, including metal poisoning.

Indiana-based Biomet Orthopedics is a medical device manufacturer Biomet M2a Magnum hip that specializes in surgical products to replace the hip, knee, shoulder and other joints. In 2010, Biomet’s U.S. hip implant sales were $312.9 million, accounting for 12 percent of the domestic hip implant market. In mid-2014, Biomet was sold to Zimmer, another joint manufacturer. Biomet Orthopedics in now Zimmer Biomet.

Despite Biomet’s success, it has had its share of problematic devices, specifically the M2a Magnum hip implant products and the Stanmore and Exceed ABT devices with optional metal liners. The problems stem from their metal-on-metal design. MoM hip implants like the M2a Magnum, Stanmore and Exceed ABT can cause a variety of complications, including metallosis, which is metal poisoning that occurs when metal particles are released into the blood from the artificial joint.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received hundreds of reports of complications  from doctors and patients who have used the M2a Hip implant line of products, however, the devices have not been recalled. A number of patients filed lawsuits against the company for complications such as pain in their hips, dislocation and soft tissue damage that necessitated revision surgery.

Biomet’s Hip Replacement Products

Biomet Orthopedics manufactures hip replacement devices for all types of hip replacement surgeries. These devices include primary femoral and acetabular components, as well as revision  components. Revision components are used in surgery to replace faulty or failed implants from the original hip replacement surgery. Biomet’s implants come in a variety of materials such as ceramic, metal and polyethylene plastic. The company claims that components manufactured with its exclusive E1 Antioxidant Infused Technology have a lower wear rate than other polyethylene products.

In addition to its popular M2a Magnum line of implants, Biomet manufactures other MoM designs, including the Biomet Stanmore and Exceed ABT . According to Biomet, the company produces the widest range of metal-on-metal (MoM) hip devices in the industry.

Biomet Products, Hip Systems and Components

Primary Femoral Components

Answer Hip System Balance Femoral Component
Bi-Metric Porous Primary Femoral Component Bi-Metric Interlok Femoral Component
Bio-Groove HA Hip System Biomet Hip Fracture Femoral Component
Bio-Moore II Hip System Generation 4 Polished Hips System
Integral Centralizer Femoral Component Integral Reduced Proximal Profile Femoral Component
Rx 90 Smooth Primary Femoral Component Stanmore Hip System
Mallory-Head Interlok Femoral Component Taperloc Hip System

Revision Femoral Components

Bi-Metric Head/Neck Replacements Reach Revision System
Bi-Metric Long Stems Rx 90 Revision System
Integral 180 Femoral Component Mallory-Head 1pc Calcar Femoral Component
PLR Proximal Loading Revision Stem Mallory-Head Modular Calcar Revision System
Reach Modular Revision System Arcos Modular Femoral Revision System

Primary Acetabular Components

Bio-Clad Polyethylene Acetabular Component C2a – Taper Acetabular System
Full Hemisphere Solid Acetabular Component M2a – Ringloc Liner
M2a – Taper Acetabular Hip System M2a – 38 Metal-on-Metal Acetabular Hip System
QSAC Quadrant Sparing Acetabular Component Ranawat/Burstein Polyethylene Acetabular Component
RingLoc Acetabular Liners RingLoc Acetabular Series
RingLoc Bi-Polar Articulating Hip System Rx 90 Low Profile Acetabular Component
Rx 90 Polyethylene Acetabular Component Tri-Spike Acetabular Component
Universal Acetabular Component Vision Acetabular Component
Mallory-Head Radial Acetabular Shell M2a-Magnum Large Metal Articulation

Revision Acetabular Components

Biomet Tri-Polar Acetabular System
Freedom Constrained Liner
Healey Flanged Revision Acetabular Component
Par 5 Acetabular Reconstruction System
Recovery Protrusio Cage
Mallory-Head +5 Acetabular Component
Regenerex Acetabular Reconstruction System

Biomet’s M2a Magnum Hip Implants

The company released its lucrative M2a line of MoM implant products in 1996, beginning with the M2a RingLoc. From 1999 to 2009, more than 110,000 M2a devices were implanted. According to Biomet, the M2a design increases long-term performance, allows for a wider range of motion and decreases dislocation.

The M2a line includes the following models:
28mm M2a-Taper M2a-Magnum
32mm M2a-Taper M2a-38
M2a-Magnum Tri-Spike M2a-RingLoc

The M2a Magnum Large Metal Articulation device was released in the Unites States in 2004 and is one of the company’s bestselling devices. Following the release of this device, all M2a implants were consolidated under the M2a Magnum brand. These devices are monoblock implants, and each M2a model has slight differences in design to accommodate different patient needs. The M2a Magnum line includes several acetabular products, all of which are  made up of the cup (or shell), metal liner and metal ball.

These implants are designed for active people, and the larger head diameter has the potential for more than 160 degrees of motion. The downside to these larger heads is that the surface area rubbing against the inside of the cup is larger, and this increases surface wear. This means more metal particles may be released into the blood and surrounding tissues.

The M2a Magnum Large Metal Articulation System is endorsed by former Olympian Mary Lou Retton, who suffered from hip dysplasia and damage to her hips from her career as a gymnast. Retton received a total hip replacement using this device, along with Biomet’s Taperloc Hip Stem, in 2005 at the age of 37.

Problems with the M2a Magnum Metal-on-Metal Hip

The M2a Magnum products may offer greater range of motion and less wear, but the implants are not without their problems. In fact, 450 adverse events have been reported to the FDA by patients and doctors related to M2a Magnum products, and the number will most likely grow. These events include pain, swelling, premature device failure and fracture.

Another problem with the M2a Magnum line is metallosis, which can occur with any metal-on-metal implant. When the metal surfaces of ball and socket rub against each other, they release metal debris. The debris can cause damage in the tissues around the joint, leading to several problems such as tissue discoloration, tissue necrosis (death), pockets of fluid called pseudotumors, groin pain, swelling, and loosening of the prosthesis leading to dislocation or fracture.

The M2a Magnum uses cobalt chromium (CoCr) in the inside of its shell and also for the ball, which can lead to excessive metal particles being released into the blood. Patients implanted with the M2a Magnum have suffered from pain, pseudotumors, extensive soft tissue damage and loosening of the component less than a year after implantation. All of these conditions require revision surgery to correct. In addition, the metal particles in the blood can travel to other organs and cause complications.

Biomet Hip Replacement Lawsuits

The M2a Magnum line was approved for distribution in the United States by the FDA under its 510(k) approval system. This means that it was not tested prior to release, since  similar products already existed on the market. A number of people developed pain and disability as a result of the M2a Magnum, and filed lawsuits against Biomet over the design.

The judicial panel on multidistrict litigation ordered that the cases be consolidated and transferred to the Northern District of Indiana, where Biomet is headquartered. The panel also noted the growing number of complaints alleging that the metal-on-metal design of the M2a Magnum causes dangerous levels of metal particles in the blood and surrounding tissues.

In January 2014, Biomet agreed to settle all of the consolidated cases for a combined $56 million. That amounts to a base award of $200,000 for each plaintiff.