Metal Hip Replacement

March 14, 2012 by staff 

Metal Hip Replacement, British experts at the world’s biggest artificial joint registry said doctors should stop using metal-on-metal hip replacements, citing ananlysis showing they have to be fixed or replaced more often than other implants.

All metal hip joints were already under scrutiny over questions about how long they last, and one major manufacturer recalled its product over a year ago. Last year, regulators in the U.S. asked makers to conduct safety studies on them. Most artificial hip joints are plastic or ceramic.

Earlier this month, the British agency that regulates medical devices warned that patients with these joints should have yearly blood tests to make sure no dangerous metals are seeping into their bodies. It also advised patients with symptoms such as pain, swelling or reduced movement to get MRI scans to check for muscle damage in case the joints need to be removed.

In the new study, expertsanlyzed data for more than 400,000 hip replacements from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales between 2003 and 2011. More than 31,000 of those were metal-on-metal devices.

After five years, about 6 percent of people with the metal-on-metal variety needed surgery to fix or replace them. That compares with just 1.7 to 2.3 percent of people who had ceramic or plastic joints.

Doctors usually expect hip joints to last at least a decade. The study was published online Tuesday in the journal Lancet. It was paid for by the National Joint Registry.

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