Product News and Recalls

Metal ions in the blood a predictor for hip joint failure

A study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that a high concentration of the metal cobalt in a patient’s blood is a “significant risk factor” for failure of an all-metal artificial hip joint, Medscape Today News reports.

In light of the findings, the researchers suggest that health regulators in both the United States and the United Kingdom revise their current recommendations against patients with no symptoms getting routine blood metal ion testing if they have one of the implants.

All-metal hip joints have both a ball and a socket coated in a mixture of cobalt and chromium. They were initially marketed as a more durable alternative to plastic and ceramic models.

But subsequent studies have concluded that nearly half of them break down and need replacement within six years – as opposed to the 15 or so years that artificial hip joints are supposed to last. They’re also prone to shedding toxic metal debris in patients’ bloodstreams.

The report states: “Grossly elevated ion concentrations indicate the risk of early prosthetic failure and can be used to direct further investigations or implement closer follow-up.”

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a DePuy hip implant. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a DePuy hip lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

See the Medscape story here:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/780801

See more about the study here:

http://www.bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/3/e001541