1 in 10 hip replacement surgeries fail, forcing the patient to undergo risky revision surgery. If the hip implant fails, it usually infects the bone. In the subsequent osteotomy, the doctor must remove both the defective implant and the infected bone. That bone loss makes the revision surgery a very low-percentage gamble, because there is not enough remaining healthy bone to anchor a second implant.
An international group of scientists recently condemned Metal-on-Metal hip replacement implants. A report issued by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging Newly Identified Health Risks concluded that metal-on-metal (MoM) devices should be “avoided” due to their “high failure rate.” Researchers stated that MoMs should be used only on a case-by-case basis, in light of other, more effective available alternatives.
In late September, spurred by the massive Stryker hip recall earlier this year, “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is launching a new system for identifying high-risk medical devices… that is says will target product problems more quickly and improve patient safety,”according to Newsday.
Metallosis is a side effect experienced by some individuals who have metal on metal hip replacements. It results from metal corrosion and release of wear debris from the device into the body of the patient. For the patients who underwent surgery to receive metal hip replacements, what they hoped would make their lives easier could actually end in pain, suffering, and a defective medical device lawsuit.