What is Wrong with the Biomet M2a and Magnum Hips?

The Biomet M2a 38 and the M2a Magnum are metal on metal hip implants with a history of serious complications. The problems reported by patients are the result of the metal head (also referred to as the “ball”) and the metal cup rubbing together and releasing cobalt and chromium debris.  This metal debris has been linked to pseudotumors, tissue death, elevated blood metal ions, and systemic problems such as cancer and heart disease.


Research on Biomet Metal on Metal (MoM) hip patients finds tissue damage and pseudotumors around the joint, even when the patient has NO symptoms, like pain, clicking, or swelling.  Metal reactions to Biomet Magnum and M2a hip replacements are often not seen on X-rays and blood tests, according to researchers. Some pseudotumors can only be found by performing a MARS MRI or CT scan, even when X-rays and blood tests for metal ions show nothing abnormal.
Doctors may not even consider a hip revision for Biomet MoM patients because symptoms and problems don’t always show up with standard medical testing.  In one study (Bosker, et. al), out of 107 patients with Biomet M2a hips, 42 had pseudotumors (39%) but only 12% of the patients in this study had surgery to remove the Biomet implant at 4.5 years.

Adverse Reaction to Metal Debris (ARMD)

Adverse reaction to metal debris, or ARMD, includes fluid around the joint, tissue masses, and death of muscle tissue around the joint. In the Bosker study, 46 of 78 patients showed a soft tissue mass (pseudotumor) and fluid collection. Out of 80 patients, 43 showed evidence of metal debris reaction. That means 54% of the patients in the study showed signs of adverse reactions to metal debris. Symptoms included clicking in the hip, swelling, and a feeling of joint misalignment.

In 2013 a Finnish study found that patients with Biomet Magnum M2a hip replacements were having serious medical complications after their hip replacement surgery. In fact, the researchers made a strong statement about the Biomet hip:

“ARMD (Adverse Reaction to Metal Debris) is common after ReCap-M2a-Magnum total hip arthroplasty and we discourage the use of this device.”

The researchers hypothesized that a collection of anything greater than 50ppbmm of fluid from the hip joint of a Biomet patient is significant enough to diagnose the patients with AMRD.

Heart Damage – Cardiomyopathy from Cobalt Toxicity

Recently published research shows that high cobalt levels from a Biomet M2a-Magnum hip can cause irreversible heart damage. The report looked at a patient who developed heart problems 6 years after getting two Biomet M2a-Magnum implants.  He had NO symptoms indicating a problem with the implants, like hip or groin pain, clicking in the joint, or loosening.  But blood tests showed extremely high cobalt levels of 189ppb.

An MRI of the heart revealed serious problems with both of his heart ventricles and changes in the front and sides of the heart walls. The doctors diagnosed his patient’s problems as myocarditis of toxic origin, most likely from cobalt toxicity.

Biomet-hip-metal-heart-cardiac-damage“The cardiac manifestations secondary to systemic cobalt toxicity in this patient represent a frightening consequence of MOM prosthetic wear” (Mosier, B. et al, The American Journal of Orthopedics, March/April 2016).

This form of systemic injury means the cobalt debris from the MoM hip implant can actually cause traumatic disease and injury throughout the entire body and not just in the hip area. In this case, the patient’s defective Biomet M2a-Magnum hip implants caused permanent heart damage.

Cobalt Levels Drop Drastically after Revision Surgery

A 2015 study of patients with Biomet Magnum M2a hips found a high rate of revisions.  Pseudotumors were found in 38 out of 50 revision patients. Once the Biomet hip was removed, average cobalt levels in patient’s blood dropped from a high of 20.8 μg/L to a normal 1.8 μg/L within 1 year.

Biomet Magnum and M2a Settlement

In 2014 Biomet agreed to a $56 million settlement over its metal-on-metal M2a and Magnum hip implants.  However, this settlement only applied to a small number of people within a short time frame and offered no hope to thousands of others with a defective Biomet Magnum and M2a hip replacement.

Click Image to Play Video

To qualify for Biomet’s deal, patients must have had revision surgery and filed a lawsuit on or BEFORE April 15, 2014.  If you had surgery to remove the Biomet hip AFTER June 13, 2014, you may not eligible for the same compensation either. Qualified patients received a minimum base compensation of $200,000.

This settlement excludes thousands of people who are currently dealing with the medical problems associated with Biomet’s defective MoM hips.

Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. is one of the few law firms in the country taking these past settlement deadline cases and actively litigating them in state courts around the United States.

Biomet has NEVER issued a recall and has NEVER admitted to any problems with the Magnum and M2a hip systems in the United States.

What You Should Do Now

Surgeons may not look for evidence of adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD) if you don’t have any symptoms. The most commonly used screening tests don’t always uncover pseudotumors. Some surgeons may not even be aware of these research findings yet.

See Your Doctor for a Follow-Up Exam – Even if You Don’t Have Symptoms.

  • Ask your orthopedic surgeon if he or she is aware of the research on adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD), pseudotumors, and tissue death.
  • You may want to request a MARS MRI, or CAT scan of your hip to look for pseudotumors or adverse reaction to metal debris ARMD that may not have any symptoms.
  • Ask your doctor to test your blood for high levels of cobalt or chromium.  The friction between the metal cup and ball rubbing together can cause microscopic metal particles to rub off and enter your bloodstream.  This can be a sign of metallosis, which can cause devastating medical conditions.
  • A portion of the M2a Magnum system is titanium. There have been recommendations that patients with the M2a Magnum also need to be concerned about the effects of titanium debris and should also be tested for titanium in their blood.

Hire an Attorney BEFORE Your Biomet Magnum M2A Revision, If Possible

It is extremely important to preserve removed Biomet M2A and Magnum metal-on-metal hip replacements for evidence.  This can be crucial for multiple reasons, including showing the amount of bony ingrowth into the hip cup.  In addition, it is important to preserve pathology specimens which document the amount and effect of the metal debris generated by the metal on metal hip replacement. Our Firm is the leader in obtaining and preserving such evidence. We can help you preserve this important evidence.

Figure 1: Example of Hip Implant Record

Get a Copy of Your Implant Records

Your hip implant record is a key piece of evidence in your case.  Ask your surgeon to give you a copy of the implant record and the operative notes.  Click here to see a replica of an implant record.

The implant record is a piece of paper with stickers on it (see Figure 1). These labeled stickers are removed from the hip implant packaging before surgery. The stickers will show what brand of hip device you have and may include a barcode or serial numbers. The implant record also typically includes the patient’s name, date of surgery, and the hospital where the hip replacement surgery was performed.

These are your personal medical records and you have a right to a copy of them.  The Biomet hip replacement attorneys at Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. can help you collect and review these medical records in order to preserve evidence for a claim. Please contact us immediately to begin a case evaluation. You can call us at (888) 952-5242 or fill out our form below.

Our Extensive Legal Experience in MoM Hip Litigation

➨ Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. is one of only a handful of law firms in the nation that has reviewed the millions of discovery documents involved in this litigation.

➨ Our attorneys have personally questioned under oath dozens of orthopedic hip manufacturer’s employees from all over the world, including surgeons, designers, marketing executives, and corporate CEOs.

➨ In 2008 the Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. Law Firm filed the first lawsuit in the United States against a manufacturer of the current generation of defective metal-on-metal hip replacements. Ever since we have been at the forefront of litigation against the makers of these defective medical devices across the United States.

➨ We have developed contacts within the orthopedic community, an understanding of how that community works, and we have extensive medical and technical knowledge about defective orthopedic hip replacements.

➨ We are aggressively and actively litigating Biomet cases through the U.S. state and federal court systems.  We are not waiting for a settlement that may never come because our clients need justice now.


Call: 888.952.5242 OR Contact Us Online

Biomet Issues “Hazard Alert” for M2a Hip Implants in Australia

Biomet stopped supply and sales of its M2a hip replacement components and canceled them from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

In February 2015, Biomet issued a “hazard alert” for these metal on metal (MoM) components because the Australian Orthopaedic Association has data showing a much higher than expected revision rate.

Read the Australian Hazard Alert Here

Biomet Sends Warning Letters to Surgeons in Europe

In April 2016 the company sent letters to surgeons in Europe admitting the M2a hip had a higher than expected revision rate. The warning is called a Field Safety Corrective Action and is based on data collected by the National Joint Registry for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, Biomet sent NO similar warnings for U.S. surgeons to follow up with their patients.

Read the Biomet Field Safety Notice Here

Metal on Metal Hip Complications

Metal Poisoning or MetallosisMicroscopic debris and shards from MoM hip replacements can cause serious metal poisoning and tissue death.
Learn More

Pseudotumorspseudotumors, metal hip, hip lawsuitMasses or lesions can form around the soft tissue of the hip joint because of the metal on metal implant.
Learn More