Metal Hip Replacement Safety Fears As Medical Regulators Launch Investigation

Posted on January 29, 2012

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An investigation has been launched by medical regulators into the safety of metal hip replacements, leaving thousands of British patients fearful of the risk of being poisoned by their implants.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it had taken “prompt action” over the safety concerns, but added the majority of people with the devices are at “low risk of developing any serious problems”.

The action comes as an investigation by the Sunday Telegraph found more than 30,000 British patients have received the “metal-on-metal” (MoM) hip replacements which are feared to be more dangerous than previously thought.

Problems occur with such devices when friction between the metal ball and cup causes tiny metal filings to break off and potentially seep into the blood. These fragments can also cause a soft tissue reaction, destroying muscle and bone.

The newspaper said there are growing concerns that the implants could also cause “systemic toxicity” in the body, prompting the MHRA to start drawing up new advice for those fitted with them.

A spokesperson for the MHRA said: “On the evidence currently available, the majority of patients implanted with metal-on-metal hip replacements are at low risk of developing any serious problems.

“We are continuing to closely monitor all evidence. This needs more analysis before any conclusions can be drawn and further advice given.

Huffington Post

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