Doctors Urged By FDA To Use Caution With All-Metal Hip Implants

Posted on January 28, 2013

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration issued new safety directives meant to be followed by healthcare professionals thinking about recommending a hip implant to a patient.  The FDA’s new guidelines were released in order to ensure that all patients are made aware of the potentially heightened risks of submitting to a procedure involving a metal on metal hip implant, the safety of which has been called into question by a litany of lawsuits and concerns among experts across the world.

First, doctors are advised to review whether their patient would face dangers that outweigh the benefits of an all-metal hip.  An FDA advisory panel recommends that an optimum candidate would be a younger man with a large femoral head.  If the patient doesn’t fall into this category, the doctor must consider other demographic information and make himself or herself aware of those sections of the population that would be susceptible to an early failure.  Patients must at all times be aware of the risks.

The work doesn’t end once the procedure has been completed.  Even when symptoms aren’t presenting in patients, doctors should check in every one to two years at a bare minimum.  Additional monitoring may be required for those who are at more of a risk of sustaining an injury.  And even though the FDA doesn’t believe that metal ion levels should be checked routinely, any symptoms indicative of heightened ion amounts should prompt the immediate test of such levels.

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