Pebble Beach, CA Hip Replacements Using Metal-On-Metal Getting A New Look From The FDA
by Richard Kuehn on 06/29/12
I've written many times on my blog about the myriad problems with faulty devices used in hip implants. Now comes news that the FDA is meeting with orthopedic experts to look into what's a growing problem, the increasing number of failures of what are called metal-on-metal hip devices. "The FDA has been aware of some of these problems for three years and has made recommendations in the past, but I think what you'll see coming out of these meetings are more specific recommendations for follow-up care," WIlliam Maisel, the FDA's chief scientist for medical devices told USA Today. About 500,000 Americans, unfortunately, have all-metal devices in their bodies. They were supposed to last longer than the ones made of plastic or ceramic. However, many patients have seen metal debris break off into their body. This causes pain and tissue damage and often requires another surgery to put a new device in. This is extremely painful and very dangerous for the elderly. My grandmother had hip replacement surgery when she was in her mid 90's and the surgeon told us that he doubted that she would make it through the operation. She did, thankfully. Doctors were able to use anesthesia only from the waist down, which reduced the risk. But others aren't so lucky. This is a great tragedy and the FDA needs to address it as quickly as possible.