Hip arthroplasty procedures have only been performed relatively recently.  As such, there is limited information available regarding the long-term performance of the hip resurfacing implants.  One of the primary issues in total hip arthroplasty (THA) is the bearing of the device.  Despite several long-term satisfactory results, polyethylene implants were still prone to various issues. Therefore, metal-on-metal (MoM) bearings offer a potential alternative.  MoM devices are associated with a far superior wear rate compared to polyethylene models.  At the same time, there have been reports of other issues associated with MoM implants such as metallosis, pseudotumors, and hypersensitivity.

Dr. Keith R. Berend et al. conducted a study to further explore the effectiveness of metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty implants.  The study report is titled “Metal-on-Metal Bearings in Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty: Minimum 2-Year Follow-Up.”  The study was presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting in 2010.  The authors state “The purpose of the current study is to report the minimum 2-year survivorship of 3 different MoM THA designs and extrapolate the failure modes with differences in implant design.”

The study included a total of 1,572 THA performed in 1,346 patients, using 3 different metal-on-metal designs.  The researchers did observe some adverse soft tissue reactions to the devices.  In this particular dataset, incidence was less than 1%, while other studies have suggested a rate closer to 5%.  The report also states that other studies indicate that complications, such as unexplained groin pain, aseptic loosening, and large cystic and fibrotic pseudotumors, are more common in female patients.

Further research is needed to better understand the optimal usage of Metal-on-Metal hip resurfacing devices and more data is necessary to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from implantation of a metal-on-metal device.  Analysis of the current data lead the researchers to recommend to “currently limit use of MoM bearings to the younger, active, labor intense male patient.”

Because many people have used metal-on-metal hip replacement systems unaware of the side-effects and possible complications associated with these devices, a number of metal-on-metal hip replacement lawsuits have been filed.  If you or a loved one used one of these devices and suffered complications or hip replacement failure, you too may be eligible to file a hip replacement lawsuit.  Contact our team of metal-on-metal hip replacement lawyers for a free, no-obligation case consultation at your convenience, for we have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.

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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.