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Do Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Cause Cancer?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Metal-on-metal hip implants have been under fire lately. Several popular metal-on-metal implant systems have been recalled, including the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip implant, DePuy ASR™ XL Acetabular System and Zimmer Durom® Acetabular Component. Metal-on-metal hip implant systems have been shown to have higher than normal failure rates, as well as a number of other problems.

Although the medical implants were designed to provide a number of benefits to recipients, including decreased the likelihood of device failure, decreased chance of dislocation, and the removal of less total material from the ball and socket when they rub against each other.

Unfortunately, the metal-on-metal devices can end up doing more harm than good because the metal ball and metal cup slide against each other when the recipient walks or runs. As the metal pieces rub against one another, tiny metal particles can wear off the device and enter the tissues surrounding the hip replacement site. Over time, the metal particles can cause damage to surrounding bone or tissue.

Medical Problems Associated with Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

Recent data indicates that metal-on-metal hip implants are more dangerous than other kinds of hip implants. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a report indicating that FDA data indicates that metal-on-metal hip replacement systems are more likely to fail than other hip implant devices. And, according to this article, 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 due to corrosion and shedding of metal ions from the implants.

Some scientists and medical experts have also wondered whether metal-on-metal hip implants could cancer as well. According to this article, however, new data suggests that metal-on-metal hip implants were not linked to cancer seven years after implantation. The data was compiled by the UK National Joint Registry (NJR), which said in its annual report released at the British Orthopaedic Association meeting, that it found no association several years after implantation. Nonetheless, the NJR suggested that metal-on-metal hip implants continue to be tracked as many cancers take longer than seven years to manifest themselves.

Recalled Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

Patients who have received one of the recalled Stryker hip implants, and patients who are suffering from pain or swelling, should immediately consult with their doctor. Symptoms of a failed hip implant system often include pain in the groin, hip or leg; swelling at or near the hip joint; and a limp or change in walking ability.

You may also wish to consult with a skilled hip implant attorney as you may be entitled to compensation for injuries in a product liability or medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact the Chicago product liability lawyers at Ankin Law Offices, LLC at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about the dangers of metal-on-metal hip implants.

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