Metallic Hip Replacement Surgeries Dropped Following FDA Warning
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has conducted a survey in 2010 showing how 16% of surgeons are utilizing metallic implants for hip replacement procedures. However, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released information about the severe complications that may follow in just a few years of having the all-metal prosthesis, the number of surgeons using metallic hip devices for implantation has dropped to 10 percent, an article in Reuters.com says. This is perhaps one of the reasons why the number of people brave enough to have metal hip implants has also decreased.
One of the top makers of metallic hip devices is the DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. which has recalled the ASR Hip Replacement System in August 2010 after receiving a high failure rate which also necessitated the 13 percent total revisions of replacement procedures within five years. The most common cause of device failure is aseptic acetabular loosening. This is mainly brought by the abrasion of the metal surfaces and the possible accumulation of metallic debris in the tissues located around the hip joint that was replaced.
One other cause for the decline in the number of patients agreeing to metal hip joint replacement surgery is that more and more doctors are recommending the use of polyethylene and ceramic hip implants, because of the absence of risk for developing serious complications such as metallosis. Although these materials are not as strong and durable as metals, the lesser risks associated with it may be more beneficial to patients.
Perhaps another reason for the decrease of metal hip replacement surgeries is the foreseen high cost of revision surgeries that the patient may have to experience after 15 years or even less depending on how well the body adapts to the implanted hip joint. Furthermore, there have been increasing reports of metal hip device failures in as early as two years post-implantation. Most of these patients are younger individuals who developed dislocations that are mostly results of hip joint overuse.
With the FDA being more attentive to reassessing the safety of metallic hip implants, the device manufacturers losing billions to lawsuits, and healthcare professionals and patients getting more and more aware about the complications of metal hip replacements, these problems may be further avoided in the future. Still, those who were implanted with the defective metallic hip implants have to deal with the health consequences everyday of their lives. For others who have received them but have not experienced any negative effects, a regular visit to the doctor is most useful in identifying early problems.
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