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Metal-on-Metal “Resurfacing” Devices Worse than Other Hip Implants, Study Shows

In a study published on Monday, Oct 1, women and smaller men were warned away from hip “resurfacing,” a technique that uses all-metal parts and is a frequently-suggested alternative to the more invasive hip replacement, which uses a hip implant device.

The study looked at 434,650 hip operations from April 2003 to September 2011 – 31,932 were resurfacing procedures, rather than full replacements. The 32,000 patients in the study came from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, and was published in the British medical journal, The Lancet.

Dr. Ashley W. Blom of the University of Bristol headed the research team, which concluded that resurfacing had an “unacceptably high” early failure rate in women, as well as men of smaller stature, who tend to have femoral heads smaller than 54 mm.

Unlike many hip replacement devices or implants, hip resurfacing devices are entirely metal. All-metal devices, such as the DePuy ASR and DePuy Pinnacle devices, have been shown to cause a greater number of problems compared to other materials. DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, currently faces two multidistrict litigations because of the suffering caused by its all-metal hip implants and replacement devices. Johnson & Johnson issued recalls of the ASR hip implant devices in 2010 due to the high failure rate.

Since hip resurfacing was developed, it has been frequently recommended for “younger” patients, because it removes less bone than a full hip replacement. However, all-metal hip implant devices not only fail at higher rates, they can cause tissue degradation around the device, as well as metallosis.

“Resurfacing failure rates in women were unacceptably high,” concluded researcher Ashley Blom, professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Bristol, and colleagues. “In view of these findings, we recommend that resurfacing procedures are not undertaken in women.”

If you or a loved one have had an all-metal hip implant or resurfacing procedure, and have since suffered painful complications, you may be entitled to compensation. The Strom Law Firm is accepting cases against DePuy Orthopedics for both their ASR and Pinnacle Hip Replacement Devices nationwide. If you have received one of these devices and it has failed, or caused further pain and suffering, contact us today. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.



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