All-Metal Hip Replacements: Not All Patients Informed of Recall
The British Orthopaedic Association has notified surgeons because they are concerned some of the 40,000 patients who got “metal-on-metal” hip replacements never got the recall notice.
Professor Joe Dias, the association’s president, told The Sunday Telegraph the letters said the records held by DePuy — a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson — show that just over one-third of the patients with the devices were recorded as having participated in the recall.
Dias said it was possible other patients had been contracted by hospitals and undergone checks, without their details being centrally logged but that he was concerned some patients were never contacted.
The surgeon said private hospitals and large National Health Service units seemed to have been thorough in contacting patients, it was less clear if small NHS units had.
“My worry would be about cases where surgeons have retired, and no-one is following up on the patients they treated,” Dias told the Telegraph.
The implants’ manufacturers cannot contact patients directly, because they do not have access to their records.
The metal-on-metal implants were considered stronger and were often given to younger patients, but friction between the metal ball and cup causes minuscule metal filings to chip off and seep into the blood causing inflammation, destroying muscle and bone, Dias said.
There are concerns fragments containing cobalt and chromium could put the kidneys and other organs at risk. In 2010, patients were told to be checked annually for at least five years.
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- Health warning over Metal on Metal hip implants – Telegraph (earlsview.com)
- Kiwis told of implant poison risk – Metal on Metal (earlsview.com)
- Tens of thousands of British patients with metal hip replacements at risk of being poisoned (earlsview.com)
- Huddersfield patients affected by faulty hip replacements face more surgery – Local West Yorkshire News – News – Huddersfield Examiner (earlsview.com)
- UK hospital recalls all Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Patients… (earlsview.com)
- Health warning over hip implants (telegraph.co.uk)
- Johnson & Johnson Takes $3 Billion Charge for Hip Recall – NYTimes.com (earlsview.com)
- Will Flawed All-Metal Hip Replacements Cost J&J and Zimmer $5 Billion? – Forbes (earlsview.com)
- J&J Reimburses Thousands to Australians in Recall Claims | DePuy Hip Replacement Lawsuit Information Site (earlsview.com)
- Fears over hip replacements (independent.co.uk)