A story in The Telegraph details the advice that British health regulators are providing for U.K. residents who received a “metal-on-metal” hip implant, in light of recent findings that up to half of the devices fail within six years.
Friction between the metal surfacing on both the implants’ ball and cup causes tiny filings of cobalt and chromium to break off. According to the story, that toxic debris “can seep into the blood and cause inflammation, destroying muscle and bone.”
Health experts are also worried that the fragments could put the nervous system, heart and lungs at risk of being slowly poisoned.
More than 40,000 patients in Britain received metal-on-metal implants. That includes 10,000 who received two types of implants made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, which were recalled in 2010.
The Telegraph says that implant recipients of all ages are at risk. But studies have found that young people and smaller women are in greater danger from the devices.
British regulators suggest that patients with metal-on-metal implants undergo annual checks. If doctors find symptoms that suggest metal leakage, they should undergo scans and blood tests. The implants have generated similar concerns worldwide.
In the first of more than 10,000 American lawsuits to go to trial, a Los Angeles jury recently awarded $8.3 million in damages to one of the implant recipients.
You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a DePuy hip implant. If your DePuy hip is causing pain or required revision surgery, you should also consult with a DePuy hip lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
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