Product News and Recalls

FDA warns against all-metal implants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says metal-on-metal hip implants, which feature both a ball and a socket coated in a mixture of cobalt and chromium, can cause soft-tissue damage. According to a Reuters story, the agency warns that the implant defects can make further surgery necessary.

The problem, according to the FDA, is that the implants can shed metal debris when the ball and socket slide against each other during normal use. In addition to wearing down the implant, that debris can damage surrounding bone and soft tissue.

The story notes that Johnson & Johnson was once the biggest manufacturer of all-metal devices. The company recalled its hip implant made by subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics in 2010, after studies showed that nearly half of them broke down after only a few years.

Internal company documents have since come to light indicating that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the problem long before the recall took place.

According to the story, all-metal hip implants were first introduced under the assumption that they were more durable than other models with plastic or ceramic sockets. They’ve since generated widespread concerns over their structural defects, which tend to create debilitating pain for patients who’ve received them.

Thousands of those patients have since filed lawsuits against the manufacturers.

If you’ve received a metal-on-metal hip implant, you should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a lawyer familiar with the devices to discuss your legal rights.

See the story here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/us-fda-hips-idUSBRE90G0W520130117