New Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Study Finds Failing Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Release Genotoxic Nano-Particles that Have Potential to Damage Cell DNA

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According to a Study Published by Chemical Communications, Genotoxic Impact of Failing Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Devices May Pose Long-Term Health Risks for Patients.

National Metal on Metal Hip Implant Attorneys

According to the study, these genotoxic nano-particles are not only responsible for inflammation seen in patients with failing metal-on-metal hip replacement devices, but may also pose long-term health risks.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the legal rights of people injured by defective hip implants, reports that a newly-published study has found that failing metal-on-metal hip implants release genotoxic nano-particles that have the potential to damage cell DNA. According to the study, which was published online this month in the journal Chemical Communications, these genotoxic nano-particles are not only responsible for inflammation seen in patients with failing metal-on-metal hip replacement devices, but may also pose long-term health risks.

For the study, researchers from Imperial College London and Ohio State University used high resolution X-ray and electron microscopy to determine the cause of chronic inflammation in tissue samples obtained from victims of failing metal-on-metal hip implants. They found that the residual chromium that is shed when all-metal hip implants rub together is oxidized, while Cobalt 2+ ions are released as the nanoparticles corrodes in the tissue, which is the cause of the inflammation. The study authors pointed out that previous research has shown that Cobalt 2+ ions are genotoxic, meaning they could potentially damage DNA and lead to further long-term health problems.

"There is a double edged sword to these findings because on the one hand, we’ve found a root cause of inflammation, which may lead to better intervention therapies for patients," Dr Alexandra Porter, co-author also from the Department of Materials at Imperial, said in a statement posted on the College's website. "On the other, although we still need to do more work to understand the full impact; our results suggest that these nano-particles may have a long-term genotoxic impact on patients.”

Metal-on-metal hip implants have been the subject of growing concerns since the August 2010 worldwide recall of 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, need for revision surgery and long-term disability. 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 much higher rates than their ceramic and plastic equivalents.

Last month, a U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) report revealed that the agency's 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. In 2011 alone, 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. Most adverse events reported to the FDA in the past decade involved revision surgery to remove a failing metal-on-metal hip implant.

Last week, the FDA's Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel recommended that metal-on-metal hip implant patients undergo regular monitoring to ensure their devices were not failing. Over a two-day meeting, the outside advisors also recommended new warning labels be added to metal-on-metal implants, including information about their possible association with the formation of pseudotumors and increased metal ions in the blood.

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 website. 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: or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney
(800) LAW-INFO
(800) 529-4636

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