Parker McDonald Reports on the MHRA Releasing New Advice for Metal-On-Metal Hip Replacement Patients

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There has been a recent health advisory placed on metal-on-metal hip implants by the MHRA.

The hip implant recovery team of Parker McDonald and Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison reports on the recent health advisory from the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). On Tuesday, the MHRA in the UK released information advising surgeons that patients with metal-on-metal total hip replacements with head diameter of 36 millimeters or more should be monitored annually for the life of the hip replacement. This is an update from April of 2010 when the MHRA advised surgeons that patients only need monitoring for a minimum of five years after the initial operation.

According to Dr. Susanne Ludgate, Clinical Director of the MHRA, “As a precautionary measure, we have today issued updated patient management and monitoring advice to surgeons and doctors that they should annually monitor patients for the lifetime of their metal on metal total hip replacements that are sized 36 millimetres or more because this particular type of hip replacement has a small risk of causing complications in patients. … By monitoring patients every year, any complications will get picked up earlier and more complex surgery on the patient can be avoided.”

Metal-on-metal devices can create metal toxicity or metal ion debris due to the friction and wear between the metal cup and metal ball. These ions may destroy surrounding tissue, bone, and muscle. The BBC reported that Tony Nargol, a consultant surgeon at the University Hospital of North Tees, has seen “…patients with 10, 20, 50 times normal levels,” of chromium and cobalt in the blood.

In August of 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. , subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, voluntarily recalled both of its all metal ASR hip replacement systems – the ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System. This recall came after data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales indicated that the five-year failure rate of these products is approximately 13 percent, or 1 in 8 patients.

Additionally, Nargol has performed research which suggests there is a problem with another DePuy metal-on-metal hip implant, the Pinnacle, which is currently still on the market. According to the BBC, Nargol’s hospital tested the nearly 1,000 patients who had been fitted with the all-metal Pinnacle there. Nargol said, “… that out of about 970 patients, 75 failures related to metal debris, which is really quite high.”

Meanwhile, as reported by The New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration maintains its current recommendations for metal-on-metal hip patients. Erica Jefferson, a spokeswoman for the FDA, told The New York Times that the agency continues “to recommend that hip replacement patients undergo regular follow-up with their physicians.”

Parker McDonald and Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison currently represent hundreds of clients across the country who have received the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip System or Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. The firms have established a website,, to provide the latest information for concerned defective hip implant patients and their families.

About Parker McDonald

Parker McDonald, P.C. offers comprehensive legal services for clients whose personal, business or property rights have been adversely affected. Built on years of trial experience, Parker McDonald lawyers are dedicated to a tradition of personal service and timely delivery of outstanding results. Parker McDonald has offices in Bedford, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.

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Erin McDonald