A lot of people in Arkansas have hip replacements. Joint replacements are one of the modern miracles that allow people to extend their active lives longer than their bodies will naturally allow, and in most cases, this is a good thing. However, there are some downsides to metal-on-metal hip replacements in general, as well as certain specific types.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacements
Metal-on-metal or MoM is the term used to describe a hip replacement implant where the ball and socket are both made of metal. This is not the case with all implants because there are other types that have one or both part made out of ceramic or plastic. Certain specific risks are associated with MoM hip replacements thanks to the way the device functions.
Because MoM hip replacements have a metal ball and socket, it is metal rubbing against metal when the joint moves. This friction grinds off tiny pieces of metal that can enter the local tissue, or they may even get into the blood stream if they are small enough. A minor amount of corrosion that naturally occurs from the placing metal inside the body further contributes to the problem.
People who have MoM hip replacements and start to experience pain in the joint, rashes on the skin and other symptoms may be experiencing metallosis. Localized reactions like pain in the affected joints are most common, but systemic reactions like skin rashes also occur in some patients. Metallosis is essentially heavy metal poisoning being caused by the implant.
Cancer Risk of MoM Implants
Most negative reactions concerning MoM implants involve metallosis and the unexpectedly high failure rate of the devices. However, even scarier is the possibility that these devices could be putting Arkansans with hip replacements at an even greater health risk. A British study that was done with Scottish patients showed increased rates of certain types of cancers in those who had MoM hip replacements.
Specifically, the British study found that patients with MoM hip replacements had higher rates of basal cell carcinoma and cutaneous melanoma, both cancers of the skin, as well as prostate cancer. The study authors cited previous studies that had found higher rates of prostate and kidney cancers as well as basal cell carcinoma and melanoma in MoM patients to additionally justify their concern. The risk could be as high as 5 percent in excess of the normal cancer rate, researchers wrote.
The Fate of the MoM Implant
MoM hip replacement implants are still available for use in Arkansas and the rest of the U.S. One type that was found to fail unacceptably often was pulled from the market, but there are other brands and models still in use. The FDA has not issued any kind of guidance on the risk of certain cancers in conjunction with MoM hip replacements, but they have suggested that patients consider other types of materials before choosing a MoM implant. The cited reasoning is the high failure rate of MoM implants. If you have been the recipient of such an implant and are concerned about the aforementioned risks, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas today.