Medical Negligence News

Recall Metal on Metal Hip Replacements Claims Research

Posted on: March 12th, 2012 by Medical Negligence

Researchers from the University of Bristol have published a report in The Lancet medical journal which, they claim, presents “unequivocal evidence” that all metal on metal hip replacements should be recalled.

The metal on metal hip replacements claims are supported by an analysis of more than 400,000 hip implant operations recorded on the National Joint Registry which show a 6.2 per cent failure rate in metal on metal hip replacements compared to a failure rate of 2.3 per cent for ceramic on ceramic hip replacements and 1.7 per cent for plastic on metal hip replacements.

The research confirmed previously held beliefs that younger women were more at risk from a failed metal on metal hip replacement, with researchers also identifying “wider head” metal on metal hip replacements as having a higher failure rate – as much as 2 per cent more for each 1mm increase in the head size.

Medical negligence solicitors will point to the conclusions drawn in the report which state that metal on metal hip replacements “should not be implanted”, even though the number of these “risky” devices being used has declined in recent years – from 8,072 in 2008 to 673 in 2011.

However, the UK Medicines Regulator – the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – is unmoved by the metal on metal hip replacements claims, with the MHRA Clinical Director – Dr Susanne Ludgate – stating that there will not be a widespread recall on metal on metal hip replacements.

Despite issuing new advice at the end of February that recipients of metal on metal hip replacements should undergo medical check-ups on an annual basis, Dr Ludgate stated that “We recognise that there is emerging evidence of increased revision rates associated with large head metal on metal hip replacements. But the clinical evidence is mixed and this does not support their removal from the market”.