Healthcare Industry News:  joint replacement 

Devices Orthopaedic

 News Release - October 12, 2006

Mary Lou Retton Shares Life-Changing Story After Hip Replacement Surgery

Olympic Great Offers Hope and Encouragement to People Living with Joint Pain

WARSAW, Ind., Oct. 12 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- At the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, Mary Lou Retton captured hearts all over the world with one of the most memorable gold-medal gymnastics performances in Olympic history. The last twenty years have brought the now 38-year-old many memorable moments - marriage, four lovely daughters and an unexpected hip replacement surgery.

"I was in shock when my surgeon told me I needed a total hip replacement," says Mary Lou Retton. "The thought of having another surgery didn't scare me, but mentally I felt I was too young to have a metal hip in my body."

While in her early thirties, Mary Lou's life changed when she began experiencing discomfort in her left hip. What began as a dull ache soon developed into chronic pain that made routine movements excruciating. She suffered for five years - taking medications and undergoing procedures to try to alleviate her unbearable pain.

"It became a chore just to get out of bed, let alone take care of my family or play with my children," says Mary Lou. "When the non-stop pain began to affect my family, that's when I knew something else had to be done."

Mary Lou suffers from hip dysplasia, which is an abnormal formation of the hip joint. Hip dysplasia has a familial tendency and can be present in either hip, but it usually affects the left hip and is predominant in females. Left untreated, hip dysplasia leads to pain and osteoarthritis by early adulthood. Her condition, combined with years of demanding gymnastics training, meant Mary Lou faced hip replacement in her thirties rather than later in life.

After a year of researching alternatives, Mary Lou agreed with her surgeon and chose to have the total hip replacement surgery. She gave her orthopedic surgeon a list of activities she wanted to be able to perform after surgery. She explains, "I decided that if I was going to have the surgery, I wanted the best option available for me."

Because of Mary Lou's active lifestyle, her surgeon chose a system that could provide excellent range of motion and a low risk of dislocation. In June of 2005, he performed the surgery using Biomet's M2a-Magnum(TM) metal-on- metal hip replacement system.

"It's been a year and I still can't believe the difference this new hip has made in my life," Mary Lou says. "If I would have known that my hip pain would be gone after surgery, I would have never waited as long as I did to have it replaced."

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), there were 233,000 total hip replacements in 2004 with the numbers increasing every year. The AAOS forecasts an upsurge in the next 25 years in the demand for artificial joint replacements.(1) Although an upsurge is predicted, half of all Americans believe that nothing can be done for their arthritis according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Biomet is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of products for joint replacement. Biomet offers one of the largest selections of implant choices and sizes available today. For more information, go to or call 800-348-9500.

Individual results may vary. There are potential risks to joint replacement surgery. Visit and read "Risk Information." The life of any joint replacement will depend on your physical condition, activity level, willingness to follow surgeon's instructions, and other factors.

M2a-Magnum(TM) is a trademark of Biomet Manufacturing Corp.

(1) AAOS Web site data. Source: National Hospital Discharge Survey 1998- 2004. Data obtained from: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Center for Health Statistics.

Source: Biomet Orthopedics

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