Product News and Recalls

Surgeon: hip implant concern only for metal-on-metal devices

A British surgeon who specializes in hip surgery writes that he’s heard from many patients who have received hip replacements, and are concerned about recent reports dealing with the hazards of metal-on-metal hip implants.

In a piece for “This is Nottingham,” Dr. Andrew Manktelow of Queen’s Medical Centre writes that most hip replacement patients have no need for concern.

“Most patients will have had either a metal or ceramic ball on a plastic liner or a ceramic on ceramic bearing. If you have not had a metal-on-metal bearing and you have no symptoms, then there is no reason to worry,” Dr. Manktelow writes.

As Manktelow observes, “the majority of the recent concern and controversy” has been about implants with a larger diameter head, which feature both a ball and socket coated with metal.

Metal-on-metal implants have received a lot of unfavorable publicity in the United Kingdom lately. The U.K.s health care regulatory agency warned surgeons to stop using a certain type of metal-on-metal replacement hip because 10 percent needed replacement within four years. Health regulators were also concerned about metal debris breaking off the implants and getting in patients’ soft tissues.

And a professional association of surgeons in England has called for a ban on all-metal hip implants, after highly respected peer-reviewed medical journals The Lancet and the British Medical Journal both published investigations showing a high early failure rate.

In the United States, the federal Food and Drug Administration has scheduled a two-day hearing in June to examine the many reports of early failure.

See the report here: