Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant: A Gamble most Experts are not Willing to Take

A recent study from the National Joint Registry of English and Wales found that 6% of people with metal-on-metal implants needed additional surgery. This percentage is high when compared to the 1.7 to 2.4% rate found in individuals with ceramic or plastic hips.

Study author Ashley Blom, head of orthopedic research at the University of Bristol, stated that with so many hip replacement alternatives, there was no reason to take the risk that comes with metal-on-metal hips. “If I were a patient, I would not choose a metal-on-metal hip,” he said.

Last month, an investigation by the British Medical Journal and BBC News found that metal ions from metal-on-metal artificial hips could seep into surrounding tissue, destroying muscle and bone, and for some causing damage to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver and kidneys. In the U.K., only about 5 percent of patients are believed to be getting the metal hips. In the U.S., estimates are that about 500,000 people have them.

The fallout on metal-on-metal hip replacement systems has some experts calling for tighter regulation, warning there might be similar problems with other joint replacements, such as those for knees and shoulders.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if this was just the beginning of the storm,” said Art Sedrakyan, an associate professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who authored an accompanying commentary in Lancet. “A lot of products have been allowed onto the market without clinical evidence they work.”

If you or a loved one have a DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle or Wright Conserve metal-on-metal hip implant, or any other metal-on-metal implant, and have suffered complications, or experienced a hip replacement failure requiring revision surgery, you may be entitled to recover significant damages from the defective product manufacturer. The lawyers at Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C., are actively handling claims for you injury and loss.