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Metal-On-Metal Hip Implants Including The DePuy ASR System: Is Medical Monitoring Needed For Life?

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According to BBC Newsnight and the British Medical Journal, new information and recommendations has been issued to patients that have been implanted with metal-on-metal hip replacements:

The government's health regulator has advised that patients who have undergone large head metal-on-metal hip replacements should be monitored annually for life.

This new metal on metal (MoM) update is a marked change from previous recommendations that patients with these MoM devices be followed and medically monitored for 5 years post implant. Dr Susanne Ludgate, Clinical Director of the MHRA, said in a statement:

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 millimeters or more because this particular type of hip replacement has a small risk of causing complications in patients.

According to BBC Newsnight, All-metal hips have a high failure rate and rubbing between the ball and cup can cause metal to break off, seeping into tissue and causing complications. But despite the fact that the risks posed by these minute pieces of metal have been known and well documented for decades, patients have been kept in the dark.

There are numerous forms of the metal-on-metal hip implants devices that are a cause for concern, but perhaps the most note worthy of all stems from DePuy Orthopaedics ASR hip implant devices that were recalled back in August of 2010. The law firm of Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia has written extensively on this DePuy ASR Recall and the danagerous side effects of metal-on-metal devices previously.

The Newsnight/BMJ investigation shows that in the face of mounting evidence of risk from metal-on-metal hips manufacturers remained silent and regulators failed to act.

Internal company documents, seen by Newsnight/BMJ, show that as early as 2005 DePuy was aware of the damage that could be done to patients by metal-on metal-implants.

This included the possibility that they might increase the chances of patients getting some types of cancer

"In addition to inducing potential changes in immune function, there has been concern for some time that wear debris may be carcinogenic," one memo said.

For these reasons and others, many law firms all over the country, like Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC, continue to review and investigate metal-on-metal hip implant claims for patients that are experiencing serious problems and complications from their artificial hip implant devices. Although the long term effects from receiving these devices are still under investigation, they remain a serious cause for concern for the approximately 36,000 U.S. patients alone and countless others around the world.