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.
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