New York, NY (PRWEB) June 29, 2012
Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the legal rights of people injured by defective hip implants, calls on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to implement recommendations made yesterday by its Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel regarding the use of metal-on-metal hip replacement devices. The panel concluded a two-day meeting examining safety issues related to metal-on-metal hip implants by recommending that patients with such devices undergo regular X-rays and blood tests if they are experiencing pain and other symptoms of a failing implant. According to a report from the Associated Press, the 18-member panel also recommended that all patients with metal-on-metal hip replacement devices undergo annual X-rays to monitor their implants, regardless of symptoms.
The Associated Press also reported that during the deliberations, some on the panel stated they could see no reason why metal-on-metal hip implants should ever be used. Others said the labeling for metal-on-metal hip implants should include warnings about serious side affects associated with the devices, including the development of pseudotumors and high levels of metal ions in patients' blood.
Metal-on-metal hip implants have been the subject of growing concerns since the August 2010 worldwide recall of the DePuy Orthopaedics’ ASR Hip Resurfacing System and ASR Acetabular System. Since then, a number of studies have found evidence that the recipients of metal-on-metal hip implants may face a significant risk of developing serious complications, including tissue damage, device failure, additional surgeries, disability, and possibly cancer. In February, for example, the British Medical Journal alerted the public about potentially high levels of metallic ions released by all-metal hip implants. The following month, the authors of a study published in The Lancet called for a ban on the devices, after finding that metal-on-metal implants failed at a rate of 6 percent in five years, as opposed to the 1.7 to 2.3 percent seen in their plastic or ceramic equivalents.
Last week, an FDA report revealed that its review of recent data suggests that metal-on-metal hip replacement systems are likelier to fail than other hip implant devices. According to the agency, metal-on-metal hip replacement devices were associated with some 16,800 adverse event reports from 2000 to 2011. The vast majority of those reports, more than 14,000, involved revision surgery to remove a failing metal-on-metal hip implant. In 2011, metal-on-metal hip implant complaints made to the FDA totaled 12,137, compared with only 6,332 associated with other types of hip replacement systems.
In light of the serious public health risk posed by metal-on-metal hip implants, the attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP call on the FDA to implement the recommendations of its advisory panel as quickly as practically possible. Already, regulators in the U.K. have advised that some patients with large diameter metal-on-metal hip joints should have annual blood tests and possibly MRI scans for the lifespan of the joint. In May, Health Canada issued a warning for patients to be aware of metal hip replacement problems and adverse effects.
Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims of metal-on-metal hip implant injuries. If you or a loved one experienced premature failure of your implant or other health problems associated with a metal-on-metal hip implant, please contact their office by visiting the firm's Defective Hip Implants page at yourlawyer.com. Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636).
For more information regarding DePuy, Zimmer, Biomet and Smith & Nephew metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits and Parker Waichman LLP, please visit: yourlawyer.com or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).
Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney