On February 28, 2012, the New York Times published an article regarding the recent decision by British health regulators to advise patients with large metal-on-metal hip implants to undergo annual check-ups for the lifetime of the device. In the past, British health regulators had advised all-metal hip patients to see their doctors for five years past the implantation of the device. However, recent concerns with metallic debris issues presented by these devices encouraged the British regulatory agency to advocate for monitoring of metal-on-metal hip implants for the life of the product.
Although the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) does not affect U.S. patients, its recent medical device alert may be useful to patients and doctors in this country dealing with similar metal-on-metal hip replacement devices. The clinical director of the MHRA states that early detection of problems with metal-on-metal hip implants may allow for the avoidance of more complex surgical procedures for the patient in the future.
Studies from registries outside of the United States have shown an early failure rate for metal-on-metal hip replacements. According to the data, these devices are failing at two to three times the rate of hip implants made from other materials, such as metal and plastic. Patients in the United States with all-metal hip implants have seen similar early failure rates.
See the full New York Times article at: