Hangers All Metal

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Hip Implant Complication: Metal Poisoning

As the metal-on-polyethylene started to show component loosening, the abandoned all-metal hip design started to come out as a hip implant of choice. Patients who are young and having an active lifestyle are the target groups for the reconsideration of the all-metal hip implants. As reported,
metal-on-metal implants cause tissue damage

The articulating surfaces of the all-metal hip implants are made up of cobalt-chrome. Cobalt-chrome offers high wear resistance and has much smaller debris particles than the metal-on-plastic polyethylene plastic articulation. MoM hip implants may be more suitable for younger and physically active patients because the metal is durable enough to last a long time. But the hip replacement device has gained criticisms from its user as it gained popularity.

On a recent report of the New York Times, more evidences were provided by the newspaper company on the danger of metal-on-metal hip replacements. According to the report, MoM hip devices shed metal particles which in turn damage the tissues around the hip. Corrosion of the metal parts of the implant causes flaking off of metal specks and maybe released into the bloodstream. As the level of metal particles in the blood increases, metal toxicity of metallosis will eventually develop.

Metallosis usually causes pain around the implanted hip, rashes that indicate a dying tissue, tumor or fluid-filled mass, difficulty with mobilization and swelling and inflammation around the implant area. These may eventually end up to loosening and dislocation of the implant, where implant is no longer attached to the bone or is no longer aligned with the bone. Damage to muscles, nerve and tissue may also happen.

The ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System are the line of MoM hip implants released by the DePuy Orthopedics in 2003. The design of the implant was defective where the ball and socket components do not fit perfectly, according to reports. A bigger portion of the femoral head is exposed resulting to corrosion and flaking off of the metal particles. The New York Times August 2011 issue reported that in 2011, the complaints on metal-on-metal hip implants have dramatically increased and 75% of the complaints were about the ASR hip system of DePuy.

The effects of metal-on-metal hip implants are becoming a health issue. The recipients' calls have already been responded by the manufacturers. In 2010, an
ASR hip replacement recall
was ordered by the DePuy Orthopedics. As an added measure, the FDA has ordered the manufacturers to conduct post market surveillance studies.

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