Study: Metal hips should no longer be used

March 13, 2012 at 11:02 PM
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LONDON, March 13 (UPI) -- A large study in Britain found metal-on-metal hip replacements have a higher failure rate than that of other hip replacements, researchers said.

Alison Smith, Paul Dieppe, Kelly Vernon, Martyn Porter, Ashley Blom, on behalf of the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, analyzed the National Joint Registry of England and Wales records for 402 051 primary hip replacements -- of which 31,171 were metal-on-metal -- done from 2003 to 2011.

The researchers said total hip replacement is extremely common, but some replacements fail, particularly in younger patients, and need to be revised -- most commonly for loosening secondary to wear or dislocation.

Surgeons have tried to address the problems by implanting large diameter metal-on-metal bearing surfaces.

The researchers aimed to assess whether metal-on-metal bearing surfaces lead to increased implant survival compared with other bearing surfaces in total hip replacement.

The study, published in The Lancet, found the metal-on-metal hip replacement gave poor implant survival compared with other options and should not be implanted.

All patients with these bearings should be carefully monitored, particularly young women implanted with large diameter heads, the researchers said. They should also be monitored to exposure to toxic metals, the study said.

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