Heightened Metal Levels From Hip Implants Worry the FDA

Posted on January 18, 2013

The dangers of metal on metal hip implants are becoming more and more apparent, and the Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to ensure that those patients who have received these devices are carefully monitored.  If you have had submitted to such an implant, then it’s important to recognize the potential danger of metal ion levels in the blood that can result from continued wear and tear.

When a user walks after a metal on metal device has been implanted, the ball and cup that compose the implant rub up against each other.  When this rubbing becomes sufficient, pieces of metal can be sheered from the device.  Those pieces of metal can then travel into nearby bone, tissue, and even the bloodstream.

The dangers of this are twofold:  first, tissue damage in the area of the implant itself could cause severe pain to be incurred by the user.  It could also lead the device to be loosened or experience a failure, which would require a painful revision surgery.  The second issue occurs when metal ion levels rise in the blood.  Should the metal be carried to other parts of the body, a whole host of other side effects could occur.  The implications of these heightened levels of metal are still being evaluated.

Doctors are being asked to carefully monitor patients and immediately evaluate any symptoms that could be a sign of metal shaving off in the patient.  Such adversity should be reported to the FDA at once.

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