Metal-on-metal hip replacements have recently been associated with serious side effects, including a significantly higher than expected rate of failure compared to other hip implants. The metal-on-metal design may also leak toxic chemicals into the body, increasing a hip recipient’s risk of metal poisoning and hip implant failure. An estimated 500,00 Americans have metal-on-metal hip implants, but many have no clue that they could be at risk of a severe side effect.
High failure rates and toxicity concerns have prompted the U.K. to ban metal-on-metal hip implants in hip replacement surgeries performed at National Health Service (NHS) hospitals. The NHS is the publicly funded health care system in the U.K.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), issued the guidance to hospitals following alarming results from a recent study, according to The Telegraph.
The study of 17,000 patients with the devices found that some of the metal-on-metal brands had failure rates as high as 43 percent. Not only do early failures require patients to get follow-up hip replacement surgeries, called revisions, but health care professionals worry the metal hips may release toxic particles into the bloodstream.