FDA to Test the Safety of Metal-on Metal Hip Implants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered makers of metal-on-metal hip implants to conduct thorough safety tests to determine the potential risks associated with the metal implants. Evidence has been building that the metal components might pose serious health risks to patients because tiny metal particles shed from the implants as the parts rub against each other.

Evidence has shown an increase in the risk of two types of injuries from the metal implants in addition to the usual risks associated with artificial hips. The injuries occur when the metal parts rub against each other as a patient walks or runs and small pieces of metal shed from the implant.

In some cases, the metal particles can build up around the joint and cause irritation over time. If the joint becomes inflamed, the patient is at risk of the implant becoming loose which would require a second surgery to fix the problem. When an implant loosens, it can cause severe pain for the patient.

Another problem with the metal-on-metal implants is the risk that the metal particles get into the patient’s bloodstream and cause damage to other areas of the body. There is evidence that chromium and cobalt ions can affect the heart, nervous system and thyroid gland.

In May 2011, the FDA ordered 21 manufacturers to conduct safety reviews on metal-on-metal implants. Each company has been ordered to give the agency its plan to determine the risks associated with the implants. The FDA says it will determine if further action is needed once it has the information from each manufacturing company.

If you’ve experienced problems with a metal-on-metal on hip implant, contact us for legal assistance. You might be entitled to financial compensation.