There’s no good reason to use a metal-on-metal hip implant. That announcement came Thursday, June 28th from a panel of health experts advising the FDA on the problems with metal hips. It’s a conclusion that thousands of people with recalled DePuy ASR hip implants already know as they struggle with the effects of their defective hips.
The 18 member panel told the FDA that “there are few reasons to continue using metal-on-metal hip implants, amid growing evidence that the devices can break down early and expose patients to dangerous metallic particles,” according to reports in the Associated Press.
What the FDA Says Patients Should Do Now
The FDA panel said that patients who have symptoms should get get annual x-rays and blood tests to see if they have elevated metal levels in their bodies. Regulators in the United Kingdom have suggested ALL patients with metal hip implants get these tests, even if they are NOT experiencing symptoms.
More Time and More Studies?
The AP reports that the FDA wants “to take more time to sort out the differences between various implants and patient groups before making recommendations.” But how long can U.S. patients wait to see what the FDA comes up with? The FDA has also asked hip implant makers, such as DePuy, to conduct their own long term studies of the metal on metal hips on the market. That’s like asking the fox to watch the hen house.
Public health experts say it could take years until the FDA gets enough data about the long-term effects of the metal debris from these hips. “Keeping these metal-on-metal hips on the market for the next five to 10 years while research is conducted is not ethical,” said Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families, as reported by the AP. “If the companies want to sell metal-on-metal hips, they should be required to prove their safety first.”
For more information on what you need to know about the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implant recall contact Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. toll free at (877) 284-6600.