When deciding which hip implant components to utilize in a replacement surgery, surgeons have a range of possibilities available to them. Particularly, surgeons can choose from components made from metal, ceramic, or plastic pieces to construct the ball-and-socket structure. The metal-on-metal combination, marketed as more durable, has increased in popularity over the past several years. However, the August 2010 recall of the DePuy ASR hip implant created heightened scrutiny over all-metal hip implant devices. Recent reports have emerged indicating all-metal implants (not just the ASR device) fail at a greater rate than the traditional metal-on-polyethylene or ceramic-on-polyethylene implants.
One report, published last month in the British Medical Journal, found that patients who received metal-on-metal implants were twice as likely to require repeat surgery as those who received traditional implants. Moreover, the analysis found all-metal hip implant patients fared no better in functioning or conducting daily activities than patients with more traditional hip implants. In other words, no added benefit was found for modern metal-on-metal implants to justify the added risk of implant surgery. And, more importantly, the idea that metal-on-metal hip implants are more durable than metal-on-polyethylene was proven to be false. The report, which was sponsored by the FDA, analyzed the results of 18 studies involving 3,139 patients and more than 830,000 operations reported in registries.
The high failure rate of the ASR has compromised the health of thousands of patients. The ASR device was recalled after it was revealed that the device had an alarming failure rate, with patients suffering from pain, swelling, dislocations, and toxic levels of metal ions in their blood. Any person who has had a hip replacement should contact their orthopaedic surgeon to determine whether they received a DePuy ASR or Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. For more information on this subject, contact Navan Ward, a lawyer in our Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Navan.Ward@beasleyallen.com. As we have reported, Navan serves on the PSC in the MDL.
Source: Thomas Reuters.
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