When people experience severe hip arthritis there are a few different surgical options, generally categorized as hip replacement. The two primary types of procedures are resurfacing arthroplasty and total hip replacement. The difference between the two is that a total hip replacement involves removal of the head of the femur, and replacing it with a rod. Whereas in a hip resurfacing, a mushroom shaped metal cap is placed on top of the femur head. Metal-on-metal designs are relatively new. Previously, hip resurfacing prosthetics were made of polyethylene; the metal-on-metal model was came into use as it does not wear down nearly as much as the polyethylene model.
Like all medical procedures, all of these options have been evaluated and compared to determine the advantages and disadvantages in each one. One such comparative study was conducted by Dr. B McGrory et al. The study report is titled “Modern Metal-on-metal Hip Resurfacing” and was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2010. The authors stated that “The goals of this technology overview are to utilize the tools of evidence-based medicine to summarize information on the indications, effectiveness, and failure rates of modern metal-on-metal hip resurfacing technology.”
The study was conducted by compiling research from several studies published as of March 30, 2009. The researchers focused on four major issues: addressing the rates of revision, patient characteristics, effectiveness of the treatment, and whether outcomes were influenced by technique, surgeon experience, and/or patient selection. While there are limitations to the data, the researchers came to the conclusion that resurfacing procedures require revision procedures more often than total hip arthroplasty.
There was not a significant difference in patient-oriented outcomes, such as pain relief, between the two procedures. Additionally, they concluded that patient selection was different for each technique; therefore, interpretation of the data was limited. Lastly, different techniques and surgeon experience did in fact lower revision rates.
While this paper does not illustrate many salient safety differences between total hip replacement and hip resurfacing using metal-on-metal implants, it does note that complications such as the wearing off of metal particles, and device failure may occur with the use of metal-on-metal implants.
Sadly, many people have used these devices unaware of the risks associated with them, and as such, a number of hip replacement lawsuits have been filed. In particular, a number of lawsuits have been filed against DePuy, the manufacturer of the recently-recalled ASR/ASRXL hip replacement models, for it has become increasingly clear that this company was aware of problems with its products but failed to act.
If you or a loved one used a metal-on-metal implant and suffered negative side effects as a result, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for your injuries. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of DePuy ASR hip replacement lawyers at the information provided below. We have the experience, resources, and skill required to win the justice you deserve.
(855) 452 – 5529
Our DePuy ASR™ / ASR™ XL Hip Replacement Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacements.