All-metal hip implants put patients at risk (2 of 2)

Welcome back. We are currently discussing all-metal hip replacements, which were determined to be prone to failure after being implanted in thousands of patients. One brand of the all-metal devices has been recalled, but others are still being marketed.

Unfortunately, there is no way to know exactly how many people have been harmed by these all-metal hip replacements, as the United States does not keep track of patients who receive hip implants and how they are doing.

So far, around 5,000 people with the recalled hip replacements have filed personal injury lawsuits against the manufacturers. The FDA recommends that everyone with an all-metal hip implant should be monitored for potential problems.

According to U.K. researchers, there is “unequivocal evidence” showing that all-metal hip replacements pose a much greater threat to patients than other types of hip replacements and therefore all brands the medical devices should be banned.

The study, which was published in The Lancet, found that metal-on-metal hip implants had failure rates of 6.2 percent. This was up to four times greater than other types of hip implants, including ceramic or polythene implants.

Researchers found that the failure rate was especially high among the all-metal implants with larger heads and those implanted in women. They discovered that the failure rate increased by 2 percent for each 1 millimeter the implant head increased.

The study considered data from more than 400,000 hip replacements in the U.K. performed between 2003 and 2011. Patients were followed for as many as seven years after their hip replacements surgeries to monitor their conditions.

If you or someone you love has suffered complications from an all-metal hip replacement, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area for more information.

Source: NPR, “Prone To Failure, Some All-Metal Hip Implants Need To Be Removed Early,” Richard Knox, March 19, 2012; Health.com, “Ban on metal-on-metal hip replacements, U.K. researchers assert,” March 13, 2012