Bone cement lawsuits are being filed for the development of the life-threatening reaction called Bone Cement Implantation Syndrome (BCIS) and in certain cases when the bone cement failed and required the patient to undergo revision surgery.
Bone cement products are used in a variety of surgeries to help patients gain back their range of motion. Some of the procedures include hip, knee, shoulder, and elbow replacement surgeries.
But many people have experienced the devastating pain of implant failure after bone cement failed to perform as desired. In addition, some unfortunate patients have suffered from Bone Cement Implantation Syndrome, which causes a deadly reaction during or shortly after cementation, causing side effects like hypoxia and pulmonary embolism, among other life-threatening reactions.
Some big-name bone cement products have been linked to a loosening of the implant in which its used to secure and in incidences of BCIS. When this happens, the patient is at risk of serious and debilitating pain, revision surgery, and more.
Types of Bone Cement
There are three types of bone cement: low, medium, or high-viscosity cement (HVC). Depending on the type of surgery, each cement has advantages for best use. For example, prosthetic knee implants can come in either cemented or cementless form.
Many surgeons prefer to use an HVC because it takes less time to mix and set in the patient’s body. Though this may save time, some research has suggested HVC doesn’t bond to the bone and is prone to failure.
Complications & Side Effects From Bone Cement
The two main complications from bone cement failure are implantation syndrome and aseptic loosening.
Known as Bone Cement Implantation Syndrome (BCIS), it is a serious and life-threatening condition. It occurs when toxins in the cement react negatively in the body– when bone marrow, fragmented bone cement, and/or fat get into the bloodstream. This can happen within a very short amount of time after the cement has been applied to the surgical site.
There is speculation that these toxins and particles can make their way into surrounding tissues, veins, nerves at the implantation site from the needle used during surgery to apply the cement. This could lead to long-term damage such as nerve pain.
Symptoms of Bone Cement Implantation Syndrome (BCIS):
- Blood clots
- Deficiency (hypoxia)
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Cardiac arrest
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Loss of consciousness
- Increased pulmonary vascular resistance
- Fat and/or marrow emboli (globules released into the bloodstream)
Though it doesn’t cause infection, Aseptic Loosening can cause serious mobility and pain issues in the cement recipient. It happens when the implant is attached to the tibia bone more-so than the femur. This causes complications with fragmentation or a disconnection of the bond to the bone itself, leading to mobility issues.
Brands Associated with Bone Cement Failure
There are many brands that manufacture bone cement that has unfortunately been linked to failure or sometimes BCIS. One such brand is DePuy, a subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical empire.
- DePuy CMW 1 Bone Cement
- DePuy SmartSet HV Bone Cement
- Stryker/Howmedia Simplex HV Bone Cement
- Biomet/DJO Surgical Cobalt HV Bone Cement
Do You Have a Bone Cement Lawsuit? Contact a Bone Cement Lawyer
Any surgery that requires bone cement is already going to be pretty serious in nature, especially when considering recovery and time off work. For those who have undergone this surgery, only to have the cement fail, or for patients who have experienced Bone Cement Implantation Syndrome; they should consider speaking with a lawyer handling bone cement lawsuits.