A longitudinal study from England is the latest widely publicized evidence that metal-on-metal hip implants have a high risk of causing problems. Listen as Dr. William Maloney, professor of orthopaedic surgery atf Stanford University School of Medicine, discusses the risks and the realities of hip replacement today.
"Failure from an adverse tissue reaction is actually still a relatively low prevalence problem ... The most common mechanism of failure of all the metal-on-metal replacements is loosening of the socket, where the socket doesn't heal to the bone and is painful on weight-bearing."
"Hip replacement, even 10 or 15 years ago, was one of the most predictable operations that we do. The impact on quality of life has been well-documented ... The goal of the surgery is to have a good long-term outcome. We want this operation to last 20 years or more."
1. Is there any reason to think that data from the UK are not applicable to patients in North America?
2. What are the indications that a hip replacement is failing and how long does this usually take after the procedure?
3. What should a primary care doctor say to a patient who is concerned that his or her implant is going to fail?
4. If a patient has an adverse reaction to a metal-on-metal implant, what is going to happen at the orthopedist's office?
5. What can someone expect from a hip implant procedure that's done in the US today or tomorrow, in terms of recovery and the success of the procedure?
6. What can a patient and a doctor do to be safe from device failure? Does this mean that people should not be trying new hip implants?
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MedPage Today, March 30, 2012