He was 46 years old at the time.
We felt like we had done our homework and picked a good surgeon and hospital. We both sell medical products so felt good about making informed choices.
Our surgeon implanted the Biomet M2a assuring us it was the best choice for a young athletic patient. Surgery went well. Intitial recovery was a bit slower due to my husband becoming very anemic due to a large loss of fluid due to vascularity. However, by Jan 2009 he was doing pretty well and exercising again on a fairly regular basis.
Later into 2009, my husband began having unusual symptoms: extreme anxiety and fatigue, forgetfulness, ears ringing, hearing loss etc. Symptoms came on very gradually but by the beginning of 2010, I was becoming very concerned with his mental health.
I was downsized from my job and my husbands company offered to transfer him back to NM so we could be closer to his elderly parents who were soon to need some assistance.
We moved in May of 2010 and by then I really thought I was going to have to need his family’s support to care for him instead. He was confusing people for other people he knew. Other symptoms included falling asleep in airports waiting for his flights (work required flying to Phoenix every week), wandering around parking garages looking for his car for an hour and a half, driving into not great areas and getting mugged because he input the wrong address into the GPS-include in these odd behaviors not being able to feel your hands and feet, hypothyroidism, tachycardia and tinnitus. His hip was hurting as well as making popping, grinding and squeaking sounds. (His surgeon in Las Vegas said it was “snapping hip” syndrome at 1 year followup visit-so it was beginning to fail as soon as 1 year later).
We went to see an orthopedic surgeon in NM in Dec 2010 because of the pain and noises his hip was making. Although the xrays showed the implant was in place, the surgeon suggested my husband get his cobalt and chromium levels tested since he had a MoM device. Because of an insurance glitch, we decided to check the levels in Jan 2011 but never got around to it – at least not right away.
In early Feb 2011, the ortho surgeon’s office called to see if he had had his metal levels checked yet and so we had the blood drawn on Feb 24, 2011. 2 weeks later, we got an alarmed call from the ortho saying we needed to come in right away. My husbands cobalt level was >100ug/L and Chromium was 49.5ug/L. However, the NM surgeon could not do a revision until the end of May, 2011.
At that point, my husband went on medical leave and we flew back to Las Vegas to see the original surgeon. Although the surgeon was carful not to verbally talk about the effects of the high metal levels, he was alarmed enough to schedule surgery the following week in Las Vegas.
His original plan was to replace the ball mechanism but due to it being ‘cold fused’ onto the femur component, it had to be a complete revision which lasted around 6 hours. We stayed in Las Vegas for about a week and after the hospital discharged him I took him to the hotel for a few days and then flew home-not an easy trip.
While recovering from the surgery, my husband had a cardiac workup due to tachycardia and also was discovered to have hypothyroidism (march 2011). On May 13th, my husband suffered an anterior dislocation of his hip. It was reduced at the ER. Then, it dislocated anteriorly again May 24th and during the reduction, a portion of his trochanter broke. The ER discharged him and he was left to stay in bed with a brace for a week until we could once again fly to Las Vegas for yet another surgery (No surgeon in NM would treat him at this point). Revision #2 was performed on June 2, 2011 with a plate screwed into his femoral component to secure the trochanter. Another 6 hour surgery and severe anemia.
Cobalt had dropped to 15ug/L.
We stayed in Las Vegas another week at the hotel and then once again flew back to NM.
My husband returned to work Aug 29th, 2011. His territory was changed and he was flying to Denver every week. By Thanksgiving, he was really run down(can’t imagine the cause?) and was hospitalized with pneumonia and a bowel obstruction. He was close to dying but amazingly pulled through.
All of this due to a MoM hip replacement.
Like many, we have a suit against Biomet to be tried in Indiana-I will be shocked if we ever see anything come of this. What I can tell you though is that this has changed our lives forever.
- Biomet Hip Implant Lawsuits: Bernstein Liebhard LLP Notes 141 Actions Now Pending in Federal Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Replacement Litigation (prweb.com)
- Parker Waichman LLP Files Lawsuit Alleging Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant is Defective and Forced Plaintiff to Undergo Additional Revision Surgery (prweb.com)
- Biomet Hip Implant Lawsuits: Bernstein Liebhard LLP Notes New Case Management Order in Federal Biomet Hip Litigation (prweb.com)
- Open Letter – Surgeon-industry COI and the CME content of AAOS 2013 addressing MoM hip complications. (earlsview.com)
- FDA cracks down on all-metal hip replacements (earlsview.com)
- Tim’s Horror Story – DePuy has more Problems with Ceramic on Metal Pinnacle Hip – and another Surgeon shows no concern … (earlsview.com)
- Stryker Encourages Monitoring of Australian Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Recipients – February 25, 2013 (earlsview.com)
- “What a Mistake,” says DePuy Hip Recipient (earlsview.com)
- J&J Expert Says Infection, Not Defect, Led to Hip Failure – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement Lawsuits: Bernstein Liebhard LLP Comments on New Study Finding that Hip Replacement Failure More Likely in Women (earlsview.com)