The HSE has ordered a review in the coming weeks of patients in Ireland fitted with metal-on-metal hip replacements.
The review follows a similar investigation carried out in the UK last year by the MHRA, the UKs medical devices regulatory body.
A metal-on-metal hip is thought to be stronger than a traditional hip replacement device because both the ball and socket are made of metal.
It is estimated that approximately 8,000 patients have been fitted with a metal-on-metal device. Roughly 3,500 of those patients were fitted with ASR devices made by the manufacturer DePuy and have already been reviewed.
Hundreds of people in Ireland have instructed Solicitors to institute proceedings against DuPuy and the HSE arising from the sale, supply and distribution of these defective metal hip devices. It is anticipated that many more Patients will file claims if the reviews uncover more problems with the Devices.
The DePuy devices were recalled in 2010 following concerns about their early failure rate. More than 21% of the devices were found to have required revision surgery after only 5 years.
The HSE has said that there are no immediate safety concerns with these implants and that it was not a product recall just a review.
The MHRA alert in the UK in 2012 identified the following groups of devices for review:
- MoM total hip replacement with a head diameter of less than 36 mm
- Stemmed Mom total hip replacement with a head diameter of less than 36 mm
- DePuy ASR hip replacements
A new national database, The Irish National Orthopaedic Register (INOR) will begin logging information on all hip and knee replacement surgeries that take place in Ireland from September onwards.
In the USA the FDA has revealed that it has received more than 16,000 adverse event reports related to metal-on-metal hip implants from 2000 to 2011. Reports reached their height in 2008 and then again after DePuy Orthopaedics recalled its ASR hip replacement devices in August 2010.