- (Photo: Reuters/ Jessica Rinaldi)
New research has revealed that metal-on-metal hip replacements have a high failure rate, prompting some to recommend that doctors discontinue their use.
According to the research, hip replacement surgery is a common operation. However, researchers have pointed out that not all replacements are as effective as others. The most common complication with hip replacement devices occurs when the device becomes loose, other complications include wear and dislocation.
To originally absolve the complications of loosening, doctor attempted to employ metal-on-metal bearings in the past. The practice became popular.
The study, published in The Lancet and paid for by the National Joint Registry, reviewed the effectiveness of those metal bearings by examining patient history records. It concluded that 31,171 metal-on-metal hip replacements were done from 2003 to 2011 in England and Wales.
Metal-on-metal Bearings had poor implant survival compared with other options, according to the study.
The study went on to recommend that doctors discontinue the use of metal-on-metal replacements. Six percent of people with metal hip replacements required a later surgery to repair or replace the implant verses the 1.7 to 2.3 percent who received plastic or ceramic implants.
Over 500,000 people in the United States have had metal hip replacements, according to the North Carolina Times.
"I wouldn't be surprised if this was just the beginning of the storm," Art Sedrakyan, an associate professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who authored an accompanying commentary in Lancet told NCT. "A lot of products have been allowed onto the market without clinical evidence they work."
Issues with metal implants have occurred in the past. NCT reported that in 2010 DePuy recalled a metal implant after it was linked to high failure rates.
The new research reveals that the high failure rate is linked to all metal implants, not just one.