A new study commissioned by the United States Food and Drug Administration published earlier this year has found that hip implants are 30% more likely to fail in women than they are in men. The study comes in the wake of the DePuy ASR hip recall scandal in which 93,000 defective hip devices were recalled, leading to nearly 11,000 US medical negligence compensation lawsuits.
JAMA Internal Medicine circulated the study’s findings earlier this year. Evidence from 35,000 hip replacement patients was used to compile the data leading to various interesting conclusions. Most intriguing was the discovery that women are more likely to suffer a failed hip implant than men. Resultantly, many more women have required revision surgeries to remove dysfunctional implants and fit new functional devices.
The study also found that men were more likely to receive metal-on-metal hip implants, which have been the source of so much recent controversy, than women. The study stopped short of explaining the differences between men and women though.
Metal-on-metal hip implants have been the cause of real concern in recent times due to the long list of health problems associated with such devices. These include:
• Metallosis: a severe form of metal poisoning believed to be caused by the metal components of devices such as the DePuy ASR rubbing together releasing metallic debris into the bloodstream and soft tissue.
• Bone fractures and loss of bone
• Loosening, misalignment, or complete dislocation of the hip implant
• Early complete failure of the implant
DePuy has only recently finished fighting the first of 10,750 US hip recall lawsuits in which it was ordered to pay the plaintiff $8.3 million in compensatory damages.
New FDA guidelines have been announced, introducing much more comprehensive testing requirements for hip implant manufacturers and advising doctors to look at all other options before implanting patients with metal-on-metal hip devices.
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