Tens of thousands of Americans get hip replacements to relieve pain and increase mobility every year. However, recent discoveries reveal that this common orthopedic surgery can cause long-term medical complications, even if the replacement is removed.
Metal-on-metal hip implants are designed to last for 15 years. Despite this, some fail in just a few years. In fact, the metal-on-metal implants are failing much faster than their ceramic and plastic counterparts because the implant pieces move against each other. When this happens, friction is created which leads to metallosis, a condition that occurs when two metal parts rub against each other and leave metal debris. The debris then becomes wedged in nearby bone and soft tissue and enters the bloodstream.
Metallosis can cause serious medical complications such as inflammation, tissue death, and, in rare cases, heart and nervous system problems. After metallosis has occurred, it isn’t enough to just remove the implants, doctors must also remove affected tissue.
Approximately one-third of hip replacements use metal-on-metal. One study even showed that 98 percent of the cups and 93 percent of the balls used in these implants result in moderate to severe scratching. An estimated 500,000 Americans currently have metal-on-metal replacements.
If you or a loved one has experienced pain, swelling or a limp after receiving a metal-on-metal implant, you may be suffering from implant failure.
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