In a study, the British Medical Journal raised an inquiry into the safety of metal-on-metal hip implants. So has the FDA, which looked at the failure frequency of these medical devices. In short, some doctors and many patients now question the long-term efficacy of metal-on-metal hip implants.
A high rate of premature failure, necessitating replacement
You'd think that metal-on-metal design would outlast other types of hip implants - but that doesn't seem to be the case, because there has been an unexpectedly high rate of premature replacement, following serious side effects in some patients.
The FDA-sponsored report in the British Medical Journal concluded that metal-on-metal hip implants weren't more effective than others, and in fact patients were more likely to have joint failure, presenting as pain, joint dislocation, or swelling. In serious cases of failure, toxic levels of metal ions could be released into the body, due to the rubbing together of metal-on-metal components.
The FDA has requested that makers of these impants - DePuy, Smith & Nephew, Biomet, Wright Medical - track and record suspected failures.
Recalls of metal-on-metal hip implants
The FDA has received thousands of complaints. Most of them involve patients who have already had their metal-on-metal hip implants removed or have follow-up removal surgery scheduled.
But, despite this, these types of hip implants are still in use in the U.S. today, and it will remain to be seen whether they will continue to be used.
If you or a family member has suffered metal-on-metal hip implant failure, call an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case.