Hip replacements are one of the miracles of modern medicine in a lot of ways. They allow people who have sustained serious injury or severe damage to the joint to walk again without pain. However, some modern evidence shows that certain Louisiana hip replacement patients might be at an increased risk for one of the scariest diseases out there: cancer.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Implants
Hip replacements can be made out of several different kinds of materials, including metal, ceramic or plastic. Metal is used because of its strength and durability. However, a type of implant that uses two metal pieces appears to have more failings than strengths.
Metal-on-metal or MoM refers to the fact that both the ball and socket of the implant are made of metal. This results, inevitably, in the rubbing of one piece of metal against another. Small pieces of metal can be rubbed off in this manner, and they can irritate the surrounding tissue.
Pain in the surrounding tissue is the most common local reaction. However, the excess metal ions can also get into the bloodstream and cause systemic metal poisoning. This can have symptoms like skin rashes and depression as well as localized pain.
Cancer Risk of MoM Hip Replacements
It is well known that exposure to high amounts of certain metals can be carcinogenic. Some of these metals can even be found in modern MoM hip implants, albeit in a different form. However, the mere presence of the metals in higher-than-usual amounts does not necessarily tell scientists anything except that they need to know more.
A study published in a British medical journal was one attempt by scientists to learn more. What they learned was pretty scary. MoM hip replacement patients in the study, which was performed in Scotland, had statistically significant increases in the rates of certain cancers.
Two types of skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and cutaneous melanoma, were noted as increased in the study patients. Prostate cancer was also more common. In addition to these specific increases, the study noted that MoM patients could have an overall risk as much as 5 percent higher than people in their general demographic, thanks to the implant.
The FDA’s View
MoM hip replacements are still being used in Louisiana. Although they are actually no longer recommended, the FDA states that this is because of an unacceptably high rate of failure. No mention has been made by the organization about the fact that these devices may be carcinogenic, as of yet. If you have been the recipient of such an implant and wish to know your rights, contact Attorney Group for Louisiana today.