Metal on Metal (MoM) Hip Implant
Metal on Metal (MoM) Hip Implant
The number of hip replacement procedures performed in the United States is on the rise, and has become increasingly common among younger people. While all artificial hip implants come with risks, metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants pose additional, unique risks.
Metal-on-Metal (MoM) hip implants consist of a ball, stem and shell, all made of metal materials. There are two types of MoM hip implants: traditional total hip replacement systems and resurfacing hip systems. Metal-on-metal devices were expected to last longer than other hip implants due to metal’s durability. The ball in a metal-on-metal device is also larger, making the hip joint more stable and less likely to dislocate.
Wear of MoM devices has recently raised concerns about their use. In MoM hip implants, the metal ball and cup slide against each other during running or walking, releasing metal. Metal can also be released from other parts of the implant where two implant components connect. Metal release causes tiny metal particles to wear off of the device into the space around the implant, and some of the metal icons will enter the bloodstream.
Over time, metal particles around some implants can cause damage to the bone and/or tissue surrounding the implant and joint. Soft tissue damage may lead to pain, device failure, implant loosening, and the need to remove the old device and replace it with another.
International regulatory agencies have issued alerts and safety communications related to MoM hip implants. Reports in industry literature, presentations from professional/scientific meetings, and data from international orthopaedic implant registries have increasingly cited complications and potential problems of early failure of MoM hip systems. The FDA notes that the data and recommendations of international regulatory agencies may not be directly applicable to U.S. patients with MoM hip systems as some of the devices available in other countries are not marketed in the U.S.
Patients with metal on metal hip implants who develop any symptoms indicating their device is not functioning properly should see their orthopaedic surgeons promptly for further evaluation. Patients with MoM hip implants should also closely monitor changes in their overall health, including new or worsening symptoms outside of the hip.
Presently, the FDA states if patients with MoM hip implants do not exhibit any of the indicated signs or symptoms and their surgeon feels the hip is functioning properly, then there is insufficient evidence to support the need for routine checking of metal ion levels in the blood or soft tissue imaging. The FDA recommends that asymptomatic patients with MoM hip implants continue to follow-up with their orthopaedic surgeon every 1 to 2 years to monitor for early signs of change in hip status.
If you are a patient with a metal on metal hip implant who has suffered injury associated with the implant, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. The Leonard Legal Group, a leading personal injury firm, has a commitment to excellence and is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured victims. Contact our office today at 973-984-1414 or online to arrange for a confidential consultation to discuss your case.
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