Traditional hip implants are made with ceramic or plastic parts. However, medical advances and improvements have led companies like DePuy Orthopaedics, the orthopedic device unit of Johnson & Johnson, to try a newer way of creating hip implants using more durable material that is designed to hold up better over time – metal.
Hip implants are supposed to last as long as 20 years or more. The recovery from a hip implant surgery can be painful and frustrating with limited movement. For this reason, patients receiving a hip implant wish to avoid any reason to have a revision surgery.
However, metal-on-metal hip implant patients are finding themselves undergoing revision surgeries to remove or replace their defective metal hip implant. Some of these metal hip implants are failing in as little as five years. These revision surgeries are typically move invasive and require longer recovery than the initial hip replacement surgery.
The makers of metal hip implants have landed in hot water with a string of lawsuits and accusations of failing metal hip implants. Internal reports have revealed that DePuy ASR hips were barely tested before being made available on the market and touted as a better, improved option for hip implants. This is proving to not be true, however.
Patients who have reported problems with their metal-on-metal hip implant in the first five years and had revision surgery had a variety of symptoms such as pain, swelling and problems walking. These serious symptoms should never be ignored, especially if they are persistent or return frequently. They may be indications of serious problems, such as loosening (when the implant does not stay attached to the bone in the correct position), fracture (where the bone around the implant may have broken), or dislocation (where the two parts of the implant that move against each other are no longer aligned.
If you have a metal implant and experience any of these symptoms, contact your orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible, not only if you are experiencing these symptoms, but also to rule out the possibility of metallosis.
Source: Beasley Allen