"Vanguard™ Complete Knee System" by B...

Owings Mills, MD

#62 Sep 8, 2011
Carl wrote:
I had a knee replacement using this in 2008. And am still having A LOT of pain with it. My OS isn't giving me a straight answer as to what could be causing the pain. Has anyone else had a problem like this after having the knee replacement? I weigh 130 pounds and am 5'7"
I had a total knee replacement in Jan of 2010. I have had constant pain since the surgery and I to cannot get a satisfactory answer from my Dr. His only answer is that some people respond differently to the surgery. Oh my knee is also still quite swollen.

Owings Mills, MD

#63 Sep 8, 2011
In January 2010 had a TKR=total knee replacement, using Vanguard Biomet. Since day one I have had nothing but trouble. Every day I have been in pain, my entire leg but especially the knee and calf area has been affected. I have been stumbling and dragging my foot. My knee is swollen with fluid, clicks, pops and feels loose. I have pain in the back of my knee which prevents me from sitting for more than a few minutes at a time. Even with the help of meds I cannot sleep because of the pain and cannot find a position which feels comfortable. The Dr took xrays but says everything is fine, but if this is true why am I having these symptoms after 19 months post op?

Warsaw, IN

#64 Sep 15, 2011
I had a total knee replacement, the Biomet Vanguard system, in March 2010. I had an accident and broke my leg and crushed my knee. After the replacement I got along really well but now a year and a half later I am in constant pain and my knee and leg both swell when I am on it for very long. I just rad a report the the FDA sent to Biomet and I learned that this procedure hasn't even been approved. Thats something I really think my OS should of told me before the surgery. I have tried acupuncture and it helps but it is expensive and doesn't last very long.
Retired Maillady

Gulf Breeze, FL

#65 Sep 16, 2011
Carmen wrote:
I had a total knee replacement, the Biomet Vanguard system, in March 2010. I had an accident and broke my leg and crushed my knee. After the replacement I got along really well but now a year and a half later I am in constant pain and my knee and leg both swell when I am on it for very long. I just rad a report the the FDA sent to Biomet and I learned that this procedure hasn't even been approved. Thats something I really think my OS should of told me before the surgery. I have tried acupuncture and it helps but it is expensive and doesn't last very long.
Hi, Carmen,
I wonder if you could provide a link to the report that shows the info on the letter that the FDA sent to Biomet for all of us to review. I searched for the report you mentioned that referred to the Vanguard "Complete Knee System" by Biomet and found links to various parts of a Vanguard knee but nothing that referenced the "Complete Knee System". Could you provide a link, please?
I did find some info at this link:
that made reference to a particular Biomet Vanguard part and lot number. As I asked for an operative report from my OS, shortly after my TKR, I checked and the actual part numbers that were used in my knee do not match those in this particular recall. I would recommend everyone with knee replacement problems to ask their OS for an operative report that lists all the parts by name, part number and lot number to keep tabs on when the FDA does or when they will make a recall on their numbered parts. Every recall by the FDA is very particular in what the recall is for. I would love to find a recall for my parts of my Biomet Vanguard knee and then I would hope I would be a part of a recall that would remedy the continued problems I have with my TKR. So far, no luck.

Let me also add that I have been in contact, personally, with Biomet and have been assured by them that there are, presently, "no deviations or abnormalities identified" and "there have been no recalls on the products you (I) have implanted in your knee". These are direct quotes from Biomet to me in correspondence received from them. The letter also went on to say "Biomet has filed this information with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adverse event reporting. If you choose, you can also report directly to the FDA by accessing the internet web address, FDA.gov , by letter to:

U.S, Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20993

or by phone at 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-436-6332)"

Again, the above quotes were from correspondence from Biomet to me. I wrote them shortly after I posted my complaints on this forum on June 14 of this year. They responded almost immediately to my letter. After providing them with the list of actual parts use in my knee surgery, they investigated their recalls and said "none of mine were under recall". As there are literally hundreds of components used in a TKR, I do believe my particular parts are not under scrutiny. What I also believe though, is that because the parts are ALL so similar in makeup that if there is a problem with one there is more than likely going to be a problem with another. That is why I did contact the FDA with the issues involving my knee and would suggest that everyone reading and are a part of this forum, also contact the FDA with their complaints. The more complaints the FDA gets, the more likely they are to look into the matter.
Regardless of the response I got from Biomet concerning my TKR parts, I STILL feel there is something wrong with this knee. I am beginning to believe that it is allegic reaction to the parts themselves. Titanium and plastic parts were used among others. Whats to say that all of us don't have some allergic reaction to the part or parts themselves? A study by the FDA needs to take place to rule this aspect out. Perhaps ALL the parts and lot numbers should be included in a recall.
Robin Henderson


#66 Sep 22, 2011
I am scheduled to have Bilatheral in Oct 2011. These reports have me concern, it sounds like the surgeons are making bad misstakes instead of the product Biomet. I am going to pray for all of you that are suffering from your surgery and that an answer will come your way soon. I will be praying for myself. I have to do this, I've had a second opinion. I've spoken with one of my OS patients that had her total knee using the Biomet prostheses and she had nothing but good positive feed back.
God Bless you all!

Augusta, GA

#67 Oct 2, 2011
yes I have the same problem,I had both my knees replaced with Biomet Vanguard and I continue to have a lot of pain,my orthopedists is talking about a possible revision surgery.

Louisville, KY

#68 Oct 2, 2011
bill wrote:
<quoted text> i wanted the rotating platform my os suggested the biomet vangaurd said it was better for my active life style.
I have two biomet vangaurd knees. I am very active. I average 150 miles per week on my bike and work around the house quite a bit. I love the Vanguard knee. I have not had a problem. Follow your post PT plan and push hard during therapy. I told my MD I would push the limit and I have without issue. Glad I had the surgery.

San Jose, CA

#69 Oct 29, 2011
I have had the biomet knee for two years now.and I'm in constant pain and it getting worse my doc is giving me the run around I have a ct scan showing moderate joint effusion it clicks pops you can hear me walk stay away from biomet.

Freehold, NJ

#70 Oct 29, 2011
I have to say that my knee is just not right. That VELCRO sound is still there. Does anyone have this? It's driving e crazy. Now that the weather is getting nasty my knee is acting up. This was just a very bad idea having this knee done my life has gone down hill. No job (because I couldn't go back when my co. wanted me to) Still uncomfortable (very aware of my knee) Seeing no light at the end of this tunnel. As far as my DR is concerned "everything is just the way it should be" I'd have to go out of state to see another Dr because every Dr knows my Dr. and will not say anything to discredit him.
Dee from California

Pleasant Hill, CA

#71 Nov 17, 2011
I had a Biomet Vanguard right knee replacement done in June 2009. There was extensive damage from this surgery and to this day, still most of leg is numb. Due to pain in same spot from day one of coming home from hospital, changed doctors in August 2010. New doctor found I was highly allergic to the nickel and had a revision in January 2011. However, the original pain on the outside of right knee continues to this day. On pain meds and Lyrica which both just take the edge off. Now having to do epidurals to try and help nerve pain. If on my knee too long, it swells. I am using anti-inflammation patches on knee but mostly does not help. Still feels "tight" all of the time. Need mobility scooter to walk very far since I am unable to on my own. Am going to consult an attorney regarding these problems. I wish all of you the best of luck. This has been an unwelcomed life change at 60!
Dee from California

United States

#72 Nov 17, 2011
Note to above allergy to nickel...patch test did not work. Had to overnight blood work to Chicago for expensive test. Fortunately surgeon worked with insurance and lab in Chicago.

Palm Coast, FL

#73 Nov 21, 2011
I had a total Vanguard Knee done in 2009. From day one I have had problems, swelling, had to have fluid drained, always in pain. The knee is hard to bend and it makes all sorts of popping noise. Feels like the bottom half is not attached to the top half. Have to wear a brace just so I can get around because my MCL is damaged. The doctor said it was normal! Every other one I have seen says, "That should not be doing that". No joke! My problem is that it was done under workman's comp and I had been out of work so long,2 and a half yrs and 3 surgeries. Was about broke so I had to sign to get the settlement. Now no insurance will cover it so I am stuck.
Mike Smith

Bristol, VA

#74 Nov 21, 2011
Well, It took me 18 months to finally convince my Doctor that there was still something wrong with my knee. He agreed and performed more surgery on it SEPT, 28th 2011. He had to replace the liner underneath the knee cap and tightened up the bolts and screw's that had came loose and than pull my ligaments down from my thigh. I kept telling him that the knee moved around and something was wrong. I still is not right. He told me that he was going to take the Vanguard knee out and replace it but instead you see he did not. I still have moving of the knee and pain. The clunking sound is still there as well. I had two surgeries with this system that I would not recommend to anyone.

Fort Worth, TX

#75 Nov 26, 2011
Had knee surgeryto replace the liner was supposed to stop instability and the pain put two new screws I'n the knee had vanguard knee replacement was told by an allergist i was allergic to titanium cobalt chrome but the dr dismisses the allergist the knee is real tight now cannot bend it straight now and broke out I'n blisters but he he doesn't know why this is happening maybe the metal isn't pure that they these things are made out of all i know maybe there is somethig more than what is said going on just know I'll never be the same i believe they should have recalled these things a long time ago
Retired Maillady

Ottawa, IL

#76 Nov 26, 2011
My original ortho still tries to talk me into having the other knee replaced. I tell him "No way! When you figure out what's wrong with the one you already replaced...we'll talk. Until then-forget it!" My left knee (which is bone on bone and always swelled up) is actually LESS painful than the Vanguard knee that he replaced in 2008! I really, really wish I had never had the replacement surgery! Not a lot of options now. I've covered all the bases. In past 3 years I've been to four other orthos for opinions. One says "knee looks great, but I may have some allergy going on", next says "knee is loose and needs to come out", next says "it's not loose but is full of scar tissue and needs a scope" Had it scoped and not any better. Last says "knee looks perfect, but some replacements work and others don't and I will have to just live with it." Mine didn't work for whatever reason and, he's right! Life still goes on! Life is just not fun anymore and it shouldn't be that way!

Orlando, FL

#77 Jan 4, 2012
I sympathize with all of you having problems. I had bilateral TKR two years ago in November. I am a healthy, physically active 65 year old who is not afraid of the gym. I have had numerous orthopedic procedures over the years including 5 previous knee surgeries and three back. I am a firm believer that you must push yourself even if it hurts during rehab to ever get the intended results. Otherwise, you end up in a state of limbo that causes you to mentally and physically deteriorate. I have been fortunate and have had extremely good results; but, I have watched many folks going through the same thing as me and they did not do the work and most had problems.

I quickly learned that a good deal of the discomfort and clicking of the knee for me was associated with the rearward range of motion. I found that I could control pain with very fast results and stop the clicking too by exercising my knee to the rear trying to increase my range of motion. I still do these more than 2 years post op. The ones you do in a chair and bed just don't go far enough. I found two things that helped. Sitting on a gym quality rowing machine with my legs extended and slowly sliding forward until the knee was at max flex. Over time this greatly improved my range of motion and pain level which for the first year would ebb and flow; but, once I started the specific exercises, it disappeared. Another thing that works is sitting on the edge of a chair and with a kids skate board do one leg at a time and slide it as far back as you can with your foot. Accept that it is going to hurt a bit while you do it; but, that isn't much of a price to be pain free.

You need to think about the numbers. My surgeon has done a few thousand of these procedures exclusively with Biomet in the last several years. If you look at the numbers, there have been tens of thousands done and we are a small group conversing. I am not downgrading your pain, I want to try to help you because the grace of God and some work has given me a fantastic result. I can almost sit down on my heels, play golf 2 or 3 times a week and go to the gym 2 or 3 times. Give it a try. Some of you will improve. I promise you.
Best regards,
Sarah Godfrey

Elmira, NY

#78 Jan 17, 2012
I had my bio-met , 2010...it is not right, pain, swelling, stiff. Changed doctors and the new doctor said he would never use them. In therapy now and hope some relief!!! They should be recalled!
Tom W

Bronx, NY

#79 Jan 27, 2012
I had a TKR done on my left knee in November, 2011 with Biomet's Vanguard. Very painful recovery for 4 weeks. However, I was very agressive with the PT. I am 57 and it's been 9 weeks. I can bend 130 degrees and I can cycle and walk without any problems. There is still some tightness but that is slowly starting to disappear. All the pain I had prior to surgery is gone. The Vanguard has been a god send!

Centralia, WA

#80 Jan 27, 2012
I had the vanguard replacement in June 2011. It does really take a full year to repair tissue, but it has been a life saver!! No pain and better ROM are the biggest bonuses I have.
Tom W

Bronx, NY

#81 Jan 27, 2012
My Physical Therapist (who treats nothing but knee replacement patients) said that most patients start having difficulty because they are either overweight or others just give up on the PT. I was having extreme pain the first 4 weeks but convince myself to work through the PT. I was very agresive with the PT and it is paying off. Many patients just say give me a pian pill so I don't have to put up with the PT. As my doctor and physical therapist said, work thru the pain no matter how bad it feels. It's been 9 weeks for me and I am going up to the driving range today to hit golf balls. I have the Biomet and it feels great. (By the way, all manufacturers of knee prosthetics have similiar complaints...just check out their blogs also.)

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