Researchers who conducted studies on metal-on-metal hip implants are asking doctors to stop using the devices because they believe they are much more likely to need repair or replacement, and may leech toxic metals into patients’ bloodstreams. The study, funded by the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, was published online this week in The Lancet.
News by Jennifer Walker-Journey
People who have received any metal-on-metal type of hip implant should be monitored every year for the rest of their lives in order to rule out possible complications, the United Kingdom’s Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced this week. The news comes on the heels of a report by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) that found problems with the all-metal artificial hips may have been known for years but nothing has been done to ban their use.
Failing metal hip implants may cause problems for more people than the toxin-leaking breast implants circulating in Europe, according to an investigation launched by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC).
Consumers Union (CU) is joining the fight to urge lawmakers to require stricter oversight of medical devices, especially since it says the current practice puts consumers, especially senior citizens, at risk for ongoing complications. CU is a nonprofit consumer watchdog that also publishes Consumer Reports magazine and ConsumerReports.org.
Medical device manufacturers spent more than $33 million last year and used 225 lobbyists to pressure lawmakers to support the Food and Drug Administration’s current practice of allowing moderate-risk devices to be approved without thorough testing for safety and efficacy. The practice has come under fire in recent months, in particular by consumer groups who argue that the agency’s expedited approval process puts patients at risk for serious injury or death.
Defective metal-on-metal hip replacement systems can cause patients debilitating problems for years after the implants have been replaced, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons this week.
Medical device makers who want to have their products reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to be sold in the United States will have to pay twice as much as they have in years past. The agency says it is increasing its rates in order to pay for an additional 200 full-time employees to manage the approval process for moderate risk medical devices.
Class action lawsuits against the makers of hip replacement systems are mounting in Canada as well as the United States. Different hip implant manufacturers are named in the lawsuits, and some of the plaintiffs allege that their hip replacement surgery made them feel worse, not better.
Of the 600 knee and hip replacement surgeries performed each year by Dr. Tod Sekundiak with Creighton University Medical Center in Nebraska, 30 to 40 percent are revision surgeries – operations to repair implants that have failed.