Research published by the National Joint Registry of England and Wales has pointed to the increasing wearing down of metal-on-metal hip device implants. Experts have now called for a total ban of the controversial Orthopaedic Devices.
The study reviewed hip implant data collected by the NJR of England and Wales. They recorded every hip and knee replacement surgery and included the first surgery to install this type of implant as well as revision surgeries to replace and remove a portion of the original implant in those Countries.
Researchers working on behalf of the NJR in England and Wales reviewed data on 402,051 hip surgeries that involved implants attached to the Thigh Bone by a metal stem this included, 31,171 metal-on-metal implants. Metal implants saw higher failure rates verses other types of devices and experienced an overall 5 year failure rate of 6.2%.
The research has shown “unequivocal’ evidence of high failure rates associated with the implants, especially in Women.
Concerns regarding the devices has been high and in recent months, the safety of some types of metal-on-metal hip replacements has increased over issues with the implants wearing out quicker than implants constructed with plastic and ceramic components. As with natural bone, metal hip implants experience wear and tear and eventually deteriorate leading to revision surgeries being carried out.
Speaking about the latest concerns raised over metal-on-metal hip implants Liam Moloney, Product Liability Solicitor in Naas said today “these implants were designed or at least marketed by their manufacturers to last as long as 20 years. They were meant to reduce the need for revision surgeries and to give patients a better chance of regaining full mobility. However, the unfortunate reality has been that many recipients of these implants have had nothing but pain and suffering. Many patients are now faced with expensive revision surgeries with no guarantee that their symptoms will be alleviated.”
Mr Moloney continued “ these devices also pose significant risk of metal poisoning because the metal components of the implants wear excessively and then small metallic particles are dispersed throughout the body and into the blood stream. Patients have suffered the effects of high levels of cobalt and chromium which can cause organ and tissue damage and the potential growth of small tumours throughout the body.”
In Ireland today hundreds of people have joined law suits against the makers of all-metal hip implants. It is estimated that in excess of 5,000 patients have received metal-on-metal hip implants in the last 10 years with the number of law suits continually growing.