Metal for hip replacements fail more than any other surgery and should not be used,
After analyzing more than 400,000 hip replacements performed between 2003 and 2011, 31,000 of which were metal on metal, after a 5-year period they had a failure rate of 6.2 percent.
The rate was much higher than those of ceramic or polyethylene replacements, and the larger the head size of a metal implant increased the chance of failure, compared to the larger head size of a ceramic replacement.
“Metal-on-metal stemmed articulations give poor implant survival compared with other options and should not be implanted,” concluded Professor Ashley Blom, from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues.
“All patients with these bearings should be carefully monitored, particularly young women implanted with large-diameter heads.”
Statistic’s show that in England, use of metal on metal hip replacements has declined quite a bit, but in the United States metal on metal accounted for 35% of all replacements in 2009.
“The US National Institutes of Health is interested in new discoveries and, until recently, not in infrastructure for comparative safety and effectiveness,” Dr. Art Sedrakyan, of Cornell University’s Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, wrote in an editorial.
“There is also substantial pressure from Congress not to stifle innovation and to undertake faster reviews…. [These practices] fail to recognize that only a large national, or even worldwide, registry can address the needs when more than 10,000 products are on the market for the same purpose.”