Further concerns raised over metal-on-metal hip implants

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It has been reported in recent weeks that metal-on-metal hip replacements have a far higher failure rate than other types of hip replacement. Evidence has expanded recently and opinions broadened with experts commenting that metal-on-metal hip replacements “should not be implanted “.

A recent study published in the Lancet shows that although all hip replacements carry a risk of failure, that failure rate is significantly increased in metal-on-metal hip replacements. The study revealed that overall 6.2% of metal-on-metal hip replacements had failed within 5 years compared to only 1.7% of metal-on-plastic and 2.3% of ceramic-on-ceramic hip replacements. The risk of failure is said to be quadrupled in women compared to only three times more men requiring a replacement. It was also confirmed that the larger the implant the greater the risk with “each 1mm in head size being associated with a 2% increase” in the risk of revision.

Samantha Collins, a medical negligence solicitor at Ashtons Legal, comments “Evidence surrounding the problems associated with metal-on-metal hip replacements is growing and getting stronger. It is not only large head metal-on-metal hip replacements that are being scrutinised but potentially all metal-on-metal hip replacements, with the risk increasing with size. There are a great number of patients out there who have undergone metal-on-metal hip replacements, and although it has been reported that numbers of metal-on-metal hip replacements being undertaken has fallen considerably, the medical profession continues to use these potentially dangerous implants in some circumstances. It has taken years of patients undergoing these replacements for experts to realise there is a problem. Metal-on-metal hip replacements should be withdrawn until further research has been undertaken confirming the exact nature of the problems associated with the implants. If people continue to undergo them the effects could be catastrophic with it taking years before these implants and the effects that stem from them are removed from the system completely.


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