North Little Rock, Ark. — A 2015 story published by National Center for Biotechnology Information, associated with National Institutes of Health, studied high “revision” surgery rates for metal-on-metal hip replacement devices.
“Revision” surgeries are the procedures required to repair or replace failing devices previously implanted.
“Metal-on-Metal HIs Arthroplasty: A Review of Adverse Reactions and Patient Management” was written by three Australian researchers — James Drummond, Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne; and Phong Tran and Camdon Fary, both of Department of Orthopaedics, Western Health, Melbourne.
The group’s central finding followed other studies of metal-on-metal (MoM) hip replacement devices compared to devices crafted from other components, such as metal-on-polyethylene (MoP): “MoM bearing surfaces have significantly higher revision rates compared to those with MoP.”
The group found that 20 percent of metal-on-metal devices would require repair or replacement within a decade or so of implantation. That percentage compared to 4 percent of metal-on-polyethylene devices. About 13 percent of hip resurfacing devices composed of metal-on-metal required repair or replacement in that same timeframe.
Patients whose devices failed had symptoms such as pain the joint, limited mobility and feelings of restricted movement within the joint itself.
The researchers used Australia’s national joint registry to study the issue and found the same types of issues found elsewhere around the world with metal-on-metal hip replacement/resurfacing devices.
Those issues include adverse reactions to metal debris (ARMD) and metallosis. Aseptic lymphocytic vasculitis associated lesion (ALVAL), is also a problem with such devices. ALVAL is the reaction cells have to certain types of metals — cobalt and chromium — found in metal-on-metal hip replacement/resurfacing devices.
The group noted that female patients and younger patients were more likely to suffer adverse reactions to metal-on-metal devices.
Attorney Lisa G. Douglas of North Little Rock said metal-on-metal hip replacement/resurfacing devices are a danger to anyone who has undergone such surgery.
“These devices have been used for many years, but as the medical community has learned more about the risks associated with them, doctors have increasingly used other types of replacement devices. It is imperative that anyone who has been implanted with a metal-on-metal hip replacement or resurfacing device pay close attention to whether the device seems to be working properly. If it is not, serious health issues are possible,” she explained.
Hip replacement or resurfacing surgery generally involves patients 45 years of age or older, though more younger people are having such surgeries in recent years. Hip replacement/resurfacing surgery has become much more prevalent in recent years, though the procedure dates to the late 1800s. In 2010, more than 300,000 such surgeries were performed in the United States, and that number continues to steadily rise.
Metal-on-metal systems have been popular over the years because their construction allows more stability and they ostensibly can last longer than systems made of other components. However, as with all such devices, friction caused by the moving parts of the joint can cause fragments of the materials to dislodge from the device. Those fragments may find their way into the bloodstream. In the case of metal fragments in the bloodstream, those fragments (chromium, cobalt, titanium and other metals) may cause a number of ailments, including heart disease, neurological issues and vision problems. Metal-on-metal hip replacement devices have fallen out of favor for these reasons and are now the cause of various lawsuits around the world because of manufacturers’ lack of warnings regarding the dangers inherent with such devices.
Complicating the issue is that “revision” surgeries don’t always solve all the problems. According to the article, half of patients who required a “revision” surgery suffered “major complications” and more than 30 percent would later need another surgery to correct ongoing problems.
The researchers concluded that patients who had received a metal-on-metal hip replacement/resurfacing device should closely monitor their health and seek immediate attention if they detected changes: “Early diagnosis of adverse reactions and appropriate treatment for failing prostheses is essential for limiting the extent of soft tissue destruction and osteolysis that can occur as a result of adverse reactions to these implants.”
If you believe that you or a loved one is suffering because of a metal-on-metal hip replacement/resurfacing, contact Attorney Lisa G. Douglas — toll free at 888 – The Lawyer or (501) 798-0004, 24 hours; www.lisagdouglas.com.
Author: Rick Fahr Staff writer for Law Offices of Lisa Douglas
Company Name: Law Offices of Lisa Douglas
Contact Person: Lisa Douglas
City: North Little Rock
Country: United States