An investigation by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) finds problems with all-metal hips have been long known, but no action has been taken to stop their use.
A high failure rate and rubbing between the ball and cup causes metal to break off, which can seep into the tissue and lead to serious health complications. Patients are being seen with 12, 20 and often 50 times normal levels.
The below video is, Dr. Tony Nargol from North Tees Hospital talking to Deborah Cohen about failing hip replacements.
In February 2012, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said an estimated 49,000 UK patients with large-head hip implants, out of 65,000, with all-metal tips were considered high-risk.
The regulator advised seeking a blood test to check metal ion levels and magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRI) if there was raised metal levels or if adverse symptoms were present.
The concern focuses on all-metal hips made of chromium and cobalt, as parts of the joint rub together and wear, which is when metal debris is generated. Toxic metals from the debris can enter the bloodstream destroying bone and muscle as well as causing inflammation.
Hip Device Recalled
In 2010, DePuy, a branch of Johnson & Johns, recalled the ASR device because friction from the metal rubbing on the metal can cause debris to break off.
Dr. Nargol’s research found there were also concerns with an all-metal version of DePuy’s Pinnacle hip implant which is still being use. Dr. Nargol’s hospital, in fact, tested an estimated 1,000 patients who were fitted with the all-metal verision of the Pinnacle.
Nargol contends that he first informed DePuy about damaged tissue in metal-on-metal Pinnacle patients dating back to 2008. Further, verified emails from Japanese surgeons show in 2008 DePuy was warned about metal debris from all-petal Pinnacle devices injuring patients.