Metal Designed Hip Replacement Study Reveals High Failure Rate

Metal designed hip replacement has a higher failure rate than that of other techniques, according to researchers who conducted a large study in Britain.

In fact, the problem is so severe that experts are now calling for the metal hip implants to be banned after they found “unequivocal evidence” of high failure replacement rates.

Alison Smith, Paul Dieppe, Kelly Vernon, Martyn Porter, Ashley Blom, on behalf of the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, analyzed the National Joint Registry of England and Wales records for 402,051 patients — of which 31,171 were metal-on-metal — done from 2003 to 2011.

The researchers said total hip replacement is extremely common, but some replacements fail, particularly in younger patients, and need to be revised — most commonly for loosening secondary to wear or dislocation.

Surgeons have tried to address the problems by implanting large diameter metal-on-metal bearing surfaces.

The researchers aimed to assess whether metal-on-metal bearing surfaces lead to increased implant survival compared with other bearing surfaces in total hip replacement.

The study, published in The Lancet, found the metal-on-metal hip replacement gave poor implant survival compared with other options and should not be implanted.

All patients with these bearings should be carefully monitored, particularly young women implanted with large diameter heads, the researchers said. They should also be monitored to exposure to toxic metals, the study said.

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