Biomet Hip Replacements

Biomet was a large manufacturer of hip replacement products before it was bought by its competitor Zimmer. Several Biomet hip implants helped improve patient’s lives, but one line of products didn’t live up to expectations. Biomet’s metal-on-metal implants cost the company millions of dollars in litigation and compensation costs.

Last Modified: September 10, 2021
Fact Checked
Medically Reviewed

Board-certified physicians medically review Drugwatch content to ensure its accuracy and quality.

Drugwatch partners with Physicians’ Review Network Inc. to enlist specialists. PRN is a nationally recognized leader in providing independent medical reviews.

Reviewer specialties include internal medicine, gastroenterology, oncology, orthopedic surgery and psychiatry.

Indiana-based Biomet Orthopedics was a medical device manufacturer that specialized in surgical products to replace the hip, knee, shoulder and other joints. Orthopedic manufacturer Zimmer bought Biomet in 2014 for $13.4 billion. The new company, Zimmer Biomet, became one of the leaders in the hip replacement market in 2016.

Before the acquisition, Biomet’s top hip replacement product was the Arcos Modular Femoral Revision System. It included five stems and three body options that could be implanted using three different types of surgical techniques.

The company also sold acetabular components, including products in its G7 Acetabular System and Regenerex RingLoc+ Modular Acetabular System. The company’s products had well-documented histories of success, but Biomet was not immune to failures.

The M2a Magnum hip implant products contained problematic metal-on-metal designs. The M2a Magnum caused 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 received hundreds of reports of complications from doctors and patients who used the M2a Hip implant line of products. However, the devices were never recalled. Thousands of people filed lawsuits against the manufacturer, and Biomet agreed to settle a large number of cases in 2014. However, 431 lawsuits were still pending against the company in March 2018.

Lawsuit Information
Biomet settled thousands of lawsuits in 2014 over their M2a Magnum hip implants. Learn more about this litigation.
View Lawsuits

Biomet’s Hip Replacement Products

Biomet manufactured hip replacement devices for all types of hip replacement surgeries. These devices included femoral, acetabular and revision components. Revision components are used in surgery to replace faulty or failed implants from original hip replacement surgery.

Biomet’s implants came in a variety of materials such as ceramic, metal and polyethylene plastic. The company claimed that components manufactured with its exclusive E1 Antioxidant Infused Technology had a lower wear rate than other polyethylene products.

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

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

M2a Magnum Hip Implants

The company released its lucrative M2a line of implant products in 1996, beginning with the M2a RingLoc. From 1999 to 2009, more than 110,000 M2a devices were implanted in patients. Biomet claimed the M2a design increased long-term performance, allowed for a wider range of motion and decreased dislocation rates.

The M2A Line Included 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 was one of the company’s bestselling devices. Following the release of this device, all M2a implants were consolidated under the M2a Magnum brand.

The devices were monoblock implants, meaning they were composed of a single component, and each M2a model had slight differences in design to accommodate different patient needs. The M2a Magnum line included several acetabular products composed of a cup (or shell), metal liner and metal ball.

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

M2a implants were designed for active people. The larger head diameter had the potential for more than 160 degrees of motion. The downside to the larger heads was that the surface area rubbing against the inside of the cup was larger, which increased surface wear. That meant more metal particles could be released into the blood and surrounding tissues.

More than 450 adverse events involving Magnum implants were reported to the FDA by patients and doctors. Complications included pain, swelling, premature device failure and fractures that required revision surgery.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.