The safety of metal-on-metal hip implants has been called into question for quite some time. The Food and Drug Administration is meeting today and tomorrow to query a panel of experts about such prostheses’ safety, but they were already concerned more than a year ago, as this report illustrates.
In May 2011, the FDA issued an order to 21 manufacturers of the troubled prostheses, tasking those manufacturers with looking into claims that consumers with the metal hip devices implanted are in danger of having metal particulates filter into their bloodstream. When the two metal parts rub together, it’s thought that the constant wear and tear can cause metal to be shaved off of the devices.
This is a concern at the forefront of many safety advocates’ minds. Should metal be shed from the devices and enter an individual’s blood, it can lead to difficulty breathing, internal organ damage, and various other dangers. It’s just the latest in a host of complications that people with the prosthetic might expect to have to endure.
All-metal hip implants were supposed to be a more durable alternative to those devices which were partially composed of plastic or ceramic. As this report and many others illustrate, though, the new and improved device is anything but. They’re failing at unacceptable rates, and patients across the world are being forced to submit to corrective surgeries or deal with a lifetime of pain and immobility.