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This news does not come as a surprise to doctors and patients alike. There has been a history of complaints stemming from patients who have used hip replacements. Two models have already been deemed unsuitable and have been taken off the market. Those who have already had a hip implant inserted must have annual check-ups and regular blood tests to ensure that there is no sign of metal poisoning or infection.
The issue has been raised due to numerous complaints from patients of metal poisoning from hip replacements. Many patients have had to undergo second surgeries to fix the damage that has been caused by the implants. Surgeons have commented that these artificial joints do not seem to be doing the job adequately and are failing to provide comfort and relief to the patients. With these metal on metal hip replacements malfunctioning in the body, there is a severe risk of toxic materials being leaked into the body.
How Hip Implants Mediate Metal Poisoning
When there is minimal wear, metal on metal hip replacements work rather well. However, as wear and tear increases, small pieces of debris from the metal surfaces begin to fall off the hip replacement. This causes the implant to become loose and affects the surrounding bone. The metal ions can be absorbed by the blood, flowing to every part of the body. If the metal ion concentration is not too high, the body can usually pass it out in urine. However, when the metal concentration increases, as it is prone to happen with hip implants, the surrounding tissue is damaged due to the high level of toxins present. This can cause numerous issues with the patient’s body, some even life-threatening.
High Failure Rates for Metal on Metal Hip Replacements
Recent research has found that most metal on metal hip replacements have very high failure rates. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has certain standards that hip replacements must adhere to. Many of the hip replacements on the market fall below these standards. Hip implants that have a failure rate of 5% or higher after 5 years’ time must be banned. These are the new standards that have been set in place by the Institute in hopes to decrease failure rates.
Most issues with hip replacements begin to surface after an extended period has elapsed. That is why it has taken so long for authorities to propose the ban. Studies conducted have shown that while some metal on metal hip implants may have a low failure rate after five years, it increases to almost 16% after nine years.
Medical professionals are disappointed at the figures. What was supposed to be an innovative and safe replacement for those suffering from hip problems has turned out to be the exact opposite. Rather than helping individuals, it has caused them more pain and suffering.