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Sky News: Hip replacements should be checked – TGA.

Hip replacements should be checked – TGA

Updated: 08:07, Friday September 21, 2012

The medical devices regulator says people with metal-on-metal hip replacements should have them regularly checked with an ultrasound or MRI and undergo blood tests.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration says there’s a growing body of evidence that when the ball and socket components wear against each other they can release trace amounts of chromium and cobalt.

In some patients this can lead to high levels of the metals in the tissues surrounding the implant, leading to problems around the joint.

But it’s not yet known how often the metals find their way into other parts of the body and precisely how much of either is a toxic amount.

The UK’s National Joint Registry has found patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements are at no more risk of developing cancer in the first seven years after surgery than the general population, but says further longer-term studies are required.

The Australian regulator says it’ll continue to assess the safety, quality and performance of each implant on a case-by-case basis.

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