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Metal-on-Metal (MoM) total hip replacement systems consist of a metal ball, a metal femoral stem in the thighbone, and a metal cup in the hip bone. Now that’s heavy metal.
Some of the hip replacement implant manufacturers are – Biomet Orthopedics, DePuy, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, and Zimmer. Both DePuy and Zimmer have voluntarily recalled the metal on metal hip implants. The DePuy recall involved the ASR™ total hip system and the recall was because of new, unpublished data from the UK joint registry indicating the revision rates (revision = replacement) within 5 years were approximately 13 percent. As for Zimmer, a voluntary recall of the Zimmer Durom® Acetabular Component ("Durom Cup") occurred because the instructions for the surgical technique were inadequate.
Metal on metal hip replacements were supposed to be more beneficial because of being more suitable for younger and physically active patients because the metal is durable enough to last a long time.
Metal on metal hip replacements were once thought to be an improvement over previous versions of metal on polyethylene but recently problems have been under scrutiny about metal ions absorbed into the bloodstream and/or tissues causing serious debilitating health concerns.
Metal on metal hip implants have created an epidemic of FDA adverse reports or complaints. One of the problems of MoM implants is toxic levels of cobalt. Some studies have shown that metal ions in the bloodstream are no cause for worry but with the vast number of people who already have metal on metal hip implants and the vast numbers who will need a hip implant are staggering. Hip implants are supposed to last for 15 to 20 years – all the while slowly imparting metal ions into the bloodstream or body tissues. How can this be considered safe?
What is cobalt poisoning?
Cobalt poisoning is caused by toxic levels of cobalt in the body. Cobalt is essential to health in micro amounts as a component of vitamin B12. Having enough cobalt is rarely a problem. The greater hazard is that excessive cobalt can cause death.
Some of the problems or symptoms associated with cobalt toxicity are:
- cardiomyopathy (heart problems)
- cognitive problems
- optic nerve atrophy
- peripheral neuropathy
If you or a loved one is suffering from one or more of the above serious side effects from a metal on metal hip implant, then you may have a MoM hip implant lawsuit. The lawsuit may be against any of the manufacturers or Biomet Orthopedics.