Some of the nation’s leading orthopedic surgeons have reduced or stopped use of a popular category of artificial hips amid concerns that the devices are causing severe tissue and bone damage in some patients, often requiring replacement surgery within a year or two. In recent years, such devices, known as “metal on metal” implants, have been used in about one-third of the approximately 250,000 hip replacements performed annually in this country. They are used in conventional hip replacements and in a popular alternative procedure known as resurfacing. The devices, whose ball-and-socket joints are made from metals like cobalt and chromium, became widely used in the belief that they would be more durable than previous types of implants.
Studies in recent years indicate that the devices can quickly begin to wear, generating high volumes of metallic debris that is absorbed into a patient’s body. That situation can touch off inflammatory reactions that cause pain, death of tissue in the hip joint and loss of surrounding bone. Doctors at leading orthopedic centers like the Mayo Clinic say they have treated a number of patients over the last year with problems related to the metal debris. Surgeons at Mayo had reduced by 80% their use of metal-on-metal implants over the last year in favor of those made from other materials, like combinations of metal and plastic. Other doctors said that to be cautious they were also scaling back their use of the all-metal implants until the scientific evidence became clearer.
Given the large number of people who have received metal on metal devices, thousands of patients in the United States could be affected. All the major orthopedics makers sell metal on metal hip devices. Some experts argue that some manufacturers, in a rush to meet the demand for metal-on-metal devices, marketed some poorly designed implants and that some doctors fail to properly implant even well-designed ones. We are currently looking into this situation. If you need more information on the subject, contact Frank Woodson at 800-898-2034 or by email at Frank.Woodson@beasleyallen.com.
Source: New York Times
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.