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FDA Panel Sees Little Reason for Using Metal Hip Implants

Posted on July 4, 2012

Amid ongoing reports that metal-on-metal hip implants can expose patients to dangerous metallic particles and that the devices can break down early, government health experts said there are few reasons to continue using the medical devices.

That was the conclusion most of the expert panelists reached last week during a U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meeting that was called to look into safety issues concerning metal-on-metal hip implants.

Although the experts fell short of recommending an outright ban of the devices, most panelists saw little reason to recommend their use. The chairman of the meeting, Dr. William Rohr, said, “I do not use metal-on-metal-hips, and I can see no reason to do so.”

The experts went on to recommend that patients complaining of pain, swelling, and other symptoms should have their blood levels regularly checked for metal levels and should receive regular x-rays. For those not experiencing pain, the panelists recommended annual x-rays to monitor the implants.

While the FDA has called for manufacturers to do more studies on their metal-on-metal devices, the president of the National Research Center for Women & Families, who spoke during a public comment session at the meeting, said that keeping metal-on-metal hips on the market while research is being done is not ethical.

“If companies want to sell metal-on-metal hips, they should be required to prove their safety first,” she stated.

According to the Huffington Post, the use of metal-on-metal hip implants has already dropped significantly. In 2008, metal hips accounted for nearly 40 percent of all hip replacements. In 2010 that number was down to 27 percent.

The skilled Florida hip replacement injury attorneys at Farah & Farah want to hear from you if you believe you have suffered an injury due to a metal-on-metal hip implant. We can review your case and discuss your legal options. Call (800) 533-3555 for a free, no-obligation consultation today.

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