Metal-on-metal hip replacements may cause more pseudotumors
  • Fri, 06/08/2012 - 1:39pm

Dutch researchers recently revealed that patients with metal-on-metal total hip replacement systems may be at a 10 percent greater risk for developing pseudotumors.

First, you may wonder, what is a pseudotumor? According to online sources, inflammation or fluid accumulation may cause a tumorlike mass. The study – published in Britain’s Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery – said metal-on-metal hip replacement patients may experience pseudotumors that produce pain, swelling, clicking.

Out of 119 patients who underwent the surgery between January 2005 and November 2007, a total of 108 were eligible for a CT scan. Of those, 42 patients were diagnosed with a pseudotumor.

Thirteen patients underwent hip revision surgeries with a polyethylene acetabular component after it was revealed that these patients suffered from metal poisoning, swelling, necrosis, or a large semi-tumor from their metal-on-metal replacement. Those with high serum metal ion levels were four times more likely to develop a pseudotumor than those with lower levels.

Metal-on-metal hip replacements have been under close scrutiny by both researchers and the FDA since these devices have been linked to a number of serious complications. Companies like Johnson & Johnson were forced to issue recalls due to metal poisoning and high failure rates.

One hip manufacturer, Smith & Nephew, recently requested FDA permission to discontinue commercializing its device.

“We regularly review the effectiveness of our products and are not satisfied with the clinical results of this component,” the company was quoted as saying.

Had Johnson & Johnson done the same thing, it probably would not be facing hundreds of lawsuits over the Depuy ASR hip replacement system.

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