FDA Discusses the Safety of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held an advisory meeting last month to discuss the safety of metal-on-metal hip implants. The agency asked its members to come up with guidelines for monitoring patients with metal hip implants.

According to an article published by the Huffington Post , the FDA said that there are few, if any, cases that it would recommend using a metal-on-metal implant. The implants have been reportedly failing at a higher rate than implants made from other materials, and have been causing harm to patients.

To date, the FDA has received about 17,000 reports of problems with metal implants, many of which required patients to undergo painful revision surgery.

Most of the problems have been associated with metal shavings that are shed from the implants. When metal particles are shed from the implants, they can cause damage to the surrounding bone and tissue. Long term damage can also include neurological and heart problems.

DePuy Orthopaedics, a Johnson & Johnson company, recalled more than 90,000 metal-on-metal hip implants in August 2010 due to reports of problems. The ASR™ hip implant system was failing at a much higher rate than normal, according to the recall.

The FDA has not said whether it will recall any other metal hip implants.

The agency said that patients who experience pain should get regular blood tests and X-rays. Earlier this year, regulators in the U.K. said that anyone with a metal-on-metal hip implant should get tested for metal in their blood every year.

Sources:

Huffington Post

Wall Street Journal

If you or someone you love has undergone revision surgery after receiving a metal-on-metal hip implant, you might qualify for compensation. To schedule a free review of your case, contact our DePuy hip implant lawyers today.

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