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New Study Reveals Dangers of Metal-on-Metal Hip Resurfacing in Women

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At the height of mounting evidence that metal-on-metal hips, such as the recalled DePuy ASR replacement and the Biomet M2a Magnum implant, may cause metal ion poisoning and early failure rates, a new study released on Monday is now urging women and smaller men to avoid hip resurfacing as well.

The study, which tracked the experiences of approximately 32,000 patients, was led by researchers at Bristol University in the U.K. and concluded that hip resurfacing had “unacceptably high” early failure rates in women and smaller men.

Hip resurfacing, which uses a metal cap to replace the hip’s femoral head (the rounded top section of the thigh bone) instead of removing it completely, is a procedure that works to preserve more of a patient’s thigh bone than would a traditional total hip replacement.

Researches at Bristol University collected data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales on how many resurfacing and total hip replacement implants failed over a period of seven years, and studied 400,000 first hip replacement procedures.

Here’s what they found: about seven percent of those failed operations involved resurfacing implants.
Dr. Ashley Blom, the lead researcher in this study, found that women tended to fare worse than men, even when the same size metal cap was used in the procedure.

The dangers of metal-on-metal hip implants are nothing new, though. Between the years 2000 and 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) logged nearly 17,000 adverse event reports of complications and early failure rates stemming from metal-on-metal hips. Metal-on-metal hips like the DePuy ASR, which was recalled by the manufacturer in August 2010, and the Biomet M2a Magnum implant, are now subject to a rising number of lawsuits by plaintiffs who suffered the severe side effects stemming from the devices.

If you received a metal-on-metal hip replacement and suffered the serious side effects associated with the devices, click here for more information.


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