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Metal-On-Metal Hip Implants May Pose Serious Risks

An estimated 250,000 hip replacements are done every year in the United States, some of them using medical devices known as metal-on-metal implants. These implants are still being used, despite known risks. Countless patients have had to go back under the knife repeatedly for issues with “MoM” implants, putting orthopedics makers under a spotlight and surgeons in a hot-spot.

According to the FDA, these metal-on-metal implants don’t always cause problems, but when they do, the results can be painful and life-changing. The issues occur when metal from the implants comes loose, sending particles throughout the body. Tissue and bone can be permanently damaged by these particles.

Pain, a loosened device, implant failure, and the need for revision surgery are all possibilities when the metal breaks down.

Because the FDA says there is no way to predict who will have an adverse reaction to the MoM implants and who will handle them well, orthopedic surgeons have a responsibility to use them sparingly and with caution.

It’s estimated that 1 in 3 patients with this type of hip replacement will have adverse effects. This means thousands, considering the number of hip replacement surgeries done each year.

Makers of MoM implants say there is no danger, which stands in contrast to countless bodies of research.

The metal particles shed from these devices can be so small that they enter the bloodstream. While pain is the first sign your implant is failing, there are others. According to the FDA, symptoms of device failure include:

  • Rashes
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Sensory changes (in sight and hearing)
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Renal dysfunction
  • Psychological problems (depression or cognitive impairment)

Anyone experiencing adverse symptoms following an MoM hip replacement surgery should immediately contact an orthopedic specialist for evaluation. Blood tests can check for metal ions in the blood, and soft tissue imaging can reveal damage around the implant.

Hundreds of thousands of people go under the knife each year to reduce pain and increase mobility—never thinking their surgery could actually make things worse. While every surgery has its risk, a growing amount of research shows that these MoM implants are far more dangerous than initially suspected.

If you’ve suffered after receiving a metal on metal hip replacement, the attorneys with Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., may be able to help. We are investigating injuries related to these medical devices. Contact us today to discuss your case and how we might be able to help.