Archive | March 2012

Consumer Reports: Most medical implants have never been tested for safety

With medical products on the market ranging from hip replacements to implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, patients would think that if doctors are using such devices, they must be safe.

That’s not always the case.

According to Consumer Reports, .metal on metal hip replacements, knee replacements, and other medical implant devices are rarely rigorously tested to assure patient safety and effective. Most of the time, manufacturers of such products have done little more than file the required FDA paperwork.

The Consumer Reports article also states the only safety “testing” that usually occurs is in bodies of unsuspecting patients. As a result, most of metal on metal joint replacement implants have had a very high failure rate, with symptoms ranging from extreme pain to subsequent corrective surgeries.

DePuy recalled 93,000 ASR XL hip replacement devices in 2010 worldwide after it became clear that the metal on metal implant failed more often than average and produced serious injuries, which resulted in several lawsuits.

Medical devices that haven’t undergone rigorous testing before going on the market have shown increased risks of cancer in patients, shifting/slippage of the device(s), nerve damage, chronic pain, abnormally high levels of chromium and cobalt levels in the blood, hearing loss, visual problems, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and anxiety, among other problems.

Consumer Reports suggests that patients do their research before considering any type of medical implant. In my case, I’ve taken non-invasive treatment options for my own severe osteoarthritis. Once those are exhausted, then only will I look into quality knee replacements.

Additional Resources:

Consumer Reports: Conditions & Treatments – Replacing a Joint

CBS News: Investigation: Most medical devices implanted in patients without testing

Dangers of metal on metal hip replacements featured on NPR

KING 5: More problems with metal-on-metal hip replacements, study says

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Exercise Center for Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Sufferers From Synvisc-One

Previously posted on December 9, 2011

People with osteoarthritis who suffer knee pain now can find even more help to treat it. by visiting the Knee Exercise Center, a new program introduced by Synvisc-One®.

The Knee Exercise Center offers information on knee fitness, effective nutrition and weight loss, alternative therapies, and a knee pain Q and A by orthopedic surgeon Dr. DiNubile.

Patients can also watch step-by-step knee exercise videos at this link.

ABOUT SYNVISC-ONE:

Synvisc-One® (hylan G-F 20) is indicated for the treatment of pain in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative non-pharmacologic therapy and simple analgesics, e.g., acetaminophen. Visit the Synvisc-One web site at www.synviscone.com.

This entry was posted on March 23, 2012, in Treatments.

Chronic Conditions Management Workshops Now Online

A workshop on managing chronic conditions developed by the Patient Education Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine is now available free of charge online.

Better Choices, Better Health offers the same benefits as the in-person workshops, but with the convenience of reaching out to more patients via the Internet.

As with the in-person groups, Better Choices, Better Health participants with conditions such as diabetes and arthritis are led by trained facilitators on topics about managing pain and fatigue and improving their quality of life.

Several of the facilitators who also suffer from similar chronic conditions also help participants learn about different treatment options, find suitable ways to exercise and eat healthy, and have better communication with family members and physicians.

Click here to get more information and to find out how to sign up for the online Better Health, Better Choices programs.

This entry was posted on March 22, 2012, in News.

The LEGION Revision Knee System – A Comprehensive Knee Replacement Option

The LEGION Revision Knee System is a one of the newest designs in knee replacement surgery with its simple and efficient instrumentation and extended variety of implant options which are suited to the needs of each patient.

This revolutionary product features a fully interchangeable stem, more cemented, press-fit, short-stem options, increased distal, posterior, and L-wedge options, 360 degree offset instrumentation for tibia and femur, a rigid connection to reamer or trial shaft, and a cutting plane (block) which rotates medially and laterally.

OXINIUM Oxidized Zirconium is the material in the femoral components. These offer reduced wear in knee replacements. In addition OXINIUM femoral components contain no nickel content, reducing any chances of metal sensitivities.

The LEGION Revision Knee System is more comprehensive in offering surgeons flexibility in adjusting the system’s components intraoperatively. While the average knee replacement lasts approximately 15 years, the LEGION Revision Knee System’s life span is estimated around 30 years.

For more on the LEGION Revision Knee System and other LEGION knee products by Smith and Nephew, click here.

This entry was posted on March 22, 2012, in Treatments.

New FDA Guidelines Released For Biosimilars

The Food and Drug Administration released a guidelines draft for “biosimilars,” less expensive, “generic” versions which are closer to becoming available on pharmacy shelves

Biosimilars will be substitutes for biologic products already used to treat a variety of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and diabetes.

More information on the new regulations for biosimilars can be read at this link.

This entry was posted on March 21, 2012, in News.

Help Us Move Together Towards A Cure

Your support of the Arthritis Foundation has helped improve the lives of 50 million men, women and children who have been struck by the unacceptable burdens caused by arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. You can help them even more by participating in your local Arthritis Walk, which raises critical funds for arthritis research and programs.

Your local Arthritis Walk is a fun way to meet new people and move together as a team with family, friends and co-workers who share our common goal of fighting and defeating arthritis. Get started now, and see how easy it is to find an event near you and form a team!

At your local Arthritis Walk, you’ll join people like Michael Jackson, an Iraq war veteran who served overseas as a U.S. Marine for five years before being diagnosed with advanced osteoarthritis at the age of 25.

You’ll also join children like Amelia and Liberty Shultz, who were both diagnosed before the age of 2 with juvenile arthritis, robbing them of many normal experiences of early childhood.

So get involved with Arthritis Walk this year! Start or join a team — and invite your friends, family and co-workers to join you! Click here to find an event near you and learn more!.

This entry was posted on March 21, 2012, in Events.