Patients with Zimmer Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Replacements Have Pseudotumors, Study Finds

Metal Hip Replacement Pain, Rash and Tissue Loss

Metal-on-metal hip replacements are associated with higher risk of patient complications and revision surgery. One complication involves the formation of pseudotumors around the hip implant. Pseudotumors are adverse tissue reactions to the metal particles produced by metal hip replacements. They appear as solid or semi-liquid masses in the tissue around a hip implant, and are associated with pain, rashes, bone and soft tissue necrosis (bone and tissue death), and dislocations.

55 patients with Biomet M2a Magnum hip replacements were studied at the University of Utah, Department of Orthopaedics. Researchers found that more than half the patients with the Biomet metal-on-metal hip replacement had pseudotumors. They also found that the pseudotumors were associated with higher blood levels of Chromium metal and were present in patients with symptoms, such as pain, and in patients without symptoms.

Notably, the authors also found a correlation between higher blood levels of Cobalt and Chromium – caused by particulate matter from the Biomet metal hip replacements – and poor functionality of the hip replacement and more pain for the patient.

Patients with Metal Hip Replacements Should Be Monitored

The researchers concluded that the presence of pseudotumors alone should not indicate a revision surgery. However, patients with pseudotumors need to be followed closely with repeat examinations, repeat blood metal tests, and MRI imaging, because pseudotumors can progressively grow larger and cause complications even in patients who do not feel pain or have other symptoms of distress.

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Source: The Prevalence of Positive Findings on Metal Artifact Reduction Sequence Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Metal-on-Metal Total Hip Arthroplasty, Lindgren, K., et al., The Journal of Arthroplasty (2016).