Class Action InvestigationsCementing You Back To Function: What Is Bone Cement and What You Need To Know About It?

September 6, 2019by Shamis & Gentile P.A.
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An accident that seriously damages your bone(s) can be very traumatizing, not only physically but also mentally. It can be confidence shattering incident, not merely limited to the bones. Shamis & Gentile’s Class Action Investigation takes an inside look into the workings on bone cementing.

Thanks to the advancements in surgical technologies, that now bone joining and treatment has become much faster and effective. Surgical science has come up with artificial alternatives that replace the missing part of the bone. One such method is bone cement.

Bone cement is used in bone surgeries and is being used very often because of its success. However, on the flip side, it can also hurt the patient, depending on factors like the type of the cement used and the patient’s reaction to the materials used and how permanent the cementation is. Contact our Class Action Investigation team to learn more.

Class Action Investigation Team Describes Bone Cement In Short

Bone cement has been used since the last 5-6 decades for anchoring artificial joints, which include pivotal joints in the human body such as hip joints, shoulder joints, knee joints, and elbow joints. A bone cement essentially fills in the gap between the prosthesis and a portion of the bone.

Chemically, bone cement is just Plexiglas methacrylate or PMMA which was used in the 1940s for the first time during plastic surgeries for closing skull gaps. It is the tissue compatibility of the bone cements because of which it surgeons started using them for head prostheses in the 1950s.

The Amazing Elastic and Hardening Duality Of Bone Cements

Bone cement, before being used in the surgical procedure, exists as a powder and a liquid that are mixed in right proportions. The powder contains PMMA and may also be mixed with benzoyl peroxide, which enables the mix to become elastic and thick like dough at normal temperatures. In order for the bone cement to become visible on x-rays, they might add zirconium dioxide or barium sulfate. However, there are chances that an infection might occur in the area, therefore powdered antibiotics such as tobramycin or gentamicin are applied.

What Are The Liquid Components Composed Of?

The liquids used in the bone cement includes MMA, the abbreviation of methyl methacrylate, which is chemically classified as a monomer that joins with the PMMA. This component has accelerating fusion properties, which ensures that the final cement material dries quickly. Also, to the mix is added a stabilizer which ensures that the components do not get damaged from light or extreme temperatures before they dry.

So, What Kind Of Bone Cement Do They Use In Knee Surgeries?

Most of the surgeons prefer to use high-viscosity cement in knee replacement surgeries. However, some surgeons have reported that high-viscosity knee replacements are more likely to fail since the mix doesn’t bond well with the bones.

What Are The Different Types Of Bone Cement?

Bone cement is classified as low, medium and high viscosity. Low viscosity bone cement has high liquid content and the time taken for setting can vary. On the other hand, a medium viscosity bone cements can range from low viscosity to high-levels depending on several factors such as the time taken for components to stabilize. The high viscosity cement is very dough-like in its consistency and the surgeons need to work on it faster before it sets down and hardens up and becomes too stiff to work with.

The Side-Effects Of Bone Cement Implantation

Certain patients may not react positively to the presence of bone cement in their body. This can cause adverse effects which are collectively known as the Bone Cement Implantation Syndrome. The syndrome may include problems such as low blood pressure, low oxygen supply, irregular heartbeats, blood clots, cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, and pulmonary edema among others.

What Are Revisions Of Bone Implants?

Revision refers to replacing the bone prosthesis. The prosthesis that was initially implanted in the body is removed and replaced by a new one. In comparison to the initial surgery, the placing the new implants is more complex since it leads to loss of healthy bone material.

A Few Words About Aseptic Loosening.

There are a few circumstances in which the implant may fail. This means the component may become loose. According to a report by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 13 cases in 2016 reported the loosening of high viscosity cements. Surprisingly, none of these cements had low or medium-level viscosity cement used. Contact our Class Action Investigation team if you believe you have a case.

Class Action Investigation Conclusion

Bone cementing is generally an effective and efficient way to cure fractures. However, also depending on the experience of the surgeons, it results in success or failure. Also, there is no time to seek consultation since fractures require immediate medical attention. Therefore, it’s literally a matter of chance whether it would work for the patient or not. Fortunately, in most of the cases, bone cementing works well and accentuates the speedy recovery of the patient. Contact our Class Action Investigation team to learn more.

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