Following the well-publicized troubles associated with all-metal hip replacement devices manufactured by DePuy and others, a recent study casts concerns about a similar hip surgery known as “hip resurfacing”.
The New York Times reported on a study study conducted by the California Technology Assessment Forum, found that the metal hip resurfacing devices had higher premature failure rates than expected and exposed patients to potential health problems when the metal debris from the devices splintered off from wear than initially expected.
Hip resurfacing procedures have been embraced by the medical community as a less invasive procedure compared with a complete hip replacement as the resurfacing procedures can preserve more of the patient’s bone and a perceived shorter recovery time.
Relying much on data collected from orthopedic registries in England and Australia that track outcomes for patients receiving hip resurfacing devices, the study found that women and older patients tended to have more problems with the hip resurfacing devices compared with men under the age of 65.
In addition to a more intensive review of patient outcomes following hip resurfacing procedures, the study also acknowledges the lack of information presently available regarding the long-term health implications of the released metal particles (primarily Chromium and Cobalt) on the body.
Indeed the uncertainly associated with metal’s released into the body from hip replacement devices is concerning. As a lawyer who is representing clients related to DePuy hip failures, I have seen first hand how some patients have experienced a condition known as metal poisoning from their device. Unlike, a revisionary surgery which may remedy a problematic hip, there are few treatment options available to those who experience complications to their bodies absorption of Chromium or Cobalt typically used in these devices.