Consumers continue to be concerned that hip replacement devices wear down, releasing metal particles that react with the body’s tissues and enter the blood stream, leading to significant adverse physical reactions.
Metal-on-metal hip devices made headlines in August 2010 when DePuy recalled 93,000 of its devices worldwide over high failure rates. Studies have since revealed that the failure rates seen with the DePuy device were neither brand nor manufacturer specific and were rather unique to the entire class of device. Research has now confirmed that metal-on-metal implants shed ions when the implant surfaces articulate, or rub against each other, which lead to a number of adverse reactions.
Research has showed that metal-on-metal hip implant devises are linked to a growing array of adverse events and include tissue necrosis, pain at the implant site that sometimes spread to the groin and back, inflammation, swelling, metal poisoning, high failure rates, osteolysis (bone loss) and fluid collection around the hip joint.
Speaking about the latest concerns over metal-on-metal hip implant devices, Liam Moloney, Product Liability Solicitor said today ‘”the Health Regulator here the IMB, has urged Doctors to advise patients who have been implanted with the defective DePuy ASR hip devices to contact them to ensure that they get up to date x-rays and scans to quickly identify problems with their devices and to schedule patients for regular blood tests to see if the devices are shedding metal particles into their blood stream. In the most serious cases, removal and replacement of the devices –revision surgery- should be considered”.
In total hip replacement surgery, an artificial ball is attached to the top of the leg bone and an artificial socket is attached to the hip bone. When the surfaces of these devices are constructed of metal, which are made with chromium and cobalt, the metal can rub against each other shedding particles which can cause joint loosening, hip fracture, adverse reactions in the soft tissue around the hip, pain, swelling, loss of movement and limping.
Commenting further on the dangers of metal- on-metal hips Mr Moloney added “metal-on-metal arthroplasty (THA) surgeries have also been linked with the formation of cysts and severe limb swelling which are new adverse reactions to the already controversial devices. These cysts can present as either pain or a growing mass. Cyst treatment requires removal of the metal debris source. In these cases the metal-on-metal hip device. Generally, this is accomplished by revision surgery to a non-metal-on-metal bearing interface as well as drainage of the cyst and removal of damaged tissue and foreign objects “.