Pharmaceutical

Woman’s pain, itching, migraines traced to defective metal hip implant

 Womans pain, itching, migraines traced to defective metal hip implantFor two years, Paula Spurlock suffered from unexplained pain, itching and migraines and no doctor could seem to find the source. It wasn’t until she underwent a PET scan that it was discovered that the all-metal hip replacement system she received in 2008 was corroding inside her body. Further studies showed that the metal-on-metal device was leeching metal ions into her bloodstream, causing a type of blood poisoning known as metallosis and triggering her unpleasant symptoms.

Traditional artificial hips are made with ceramic or plastic parts. The newer, all-metal hip implants were designed so that they could last longer and hold up better for younger, more active patients. However, they were found to fail at a much higher rate than traditional implants.

These metal-on-metal hip implants are made by various manufacturers. Some, like Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy ASR hip replacement system, have been recalled by the manufacturer. But many continue to be marketed.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the devices and as a result is now providing updated safety information to patients and health care providers. The FDA will continue to gather and review available data on currently marketed metal-on-metal hip implants and will provide updates as necessary to patients and health care providers.

Meanwhile, thousands of patients have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of these defective all-metal devices, claiming the makers should have thoroughly tested the implants before marketing them as safe and effective.

Source: ABC