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Hip Replacement Study Released - Metal on Metal Devices Are Beginning to Fail Sooner than Expected

Posted Mar 05 2010 7:57pm

Many individuals that have had hip replacements that are metal to metal and perhaps not a combination of metal and/or other material needing to be replaced.  The image article mentions the Mayo Clinic has reduced their number used by 80%.  With the metal in the body, surrounding tissue is dying and becoming inflamed, which can mean a lot of pain.  You could also get one that talks or “squeaks” with some of the devices using ceramics.   See how this sounds in the video. 

British researchers report that one in about 75 people required repeat hip and knee replacements in the three years following the original procedure. The study was published in the journal PLoS Medicine.  Some hips have only lasted a little over a year before replacement has been necessary. 

Check out this link which will give you an animated description and explanation of how hip surgery works with a virtual tour.  BD

Milan, IL: A new issue emerging around artificial hip replacements is of interest to any patient who has received a metal-on-metal device. A recent editorial in the Journal of Arthroplasty, a noted medical journal for orthopedic surgeons, has urged doctors to use metal-on-metal devices only with "great caution, if at all."

The metal-on-metal devices are used in about one third of all hip replacement surgeries in the US each year, totaling a quarter million annually. The New York Times reported yesterday that some of the nation's leading orthopedic surgeons have stopped or significantly reduced their use of the devices to reports of severe tissue and bone damage in some patients.

What’s more, metal-on-metal devices are beginning to fail far sooner than expected. Despite an expected life span of 15 years or more, some have required replacement surgery within a year or two.  However, studies have found that when the devices break down prematurely, they sometimes generate metallic debris that absorbs into the body. The resulting inflammation can trigger pain, death of tissue in the hip joint and the loss of surrounding bone.

A similar number of patients have had metal-on-metal hips removed at the Mayo Clinic, according to Dr. Daniel Berry, Mayo’s head of orthopedic surgery. Dr. Berry added that surgeons at the Mayo Clinic reduced by 80 percent their use of metal-on-metal implants over the last year in favor of those fashioned from combinations of metal and plastic or other materials.

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