Surgeons have learned over the
past decade that newer versions of hip implants, made with a metal ball that
fits into a metal socket, such as the DePuy Pinnacle, have been failing at a
higher rate than traditional hip implants made of ceramic or plastic parts,
medical industry publications report. Typically, most hip implants fracture,
loosen, or dislocate over a decade or two due to wear and tear. But many of
these metal implants, designed to be more durable than traditional implants,
are failing after five years or less.
FDA findings and medical reports
show that there are are several problems associated with these artificial hip
implants, the most painful one among the side effects involves a loosening of
the hip implant.Over time the hip replacement can become loose, this can cause
pain and problems with the functioning of the hip replacement itself.When a hip
replacement is placed into the body, it is either press-fit into the bone, or
cemented into position. Both options are used because they fit tightly into the
bone of the thigh (femur) and pelvis so that the implant cannot move.When the
implant begins to loosen, the hip replacement will also begin to move in small
amounts. When this begins patients begin to feel pain in their bodies.
The unfortunate part for the
patients whose hip replacement has become loose, is that hip replacement
revision surgery is one of the only ways to correct the loosening.However, with
revision operations patients almost always recover less overall motion of the
joint. The implant durability also declines with each revision. This is why surgeons try to avoid doing such
procedures as to get the most out of the hip replacement already placed inside
With increasing amount of
complaints about metal-on-metal hip implants loosening prematurely, the United
States food and Drug Administration (FDA) has, in 2010, ordered 21
manufacturers to conduct studies on patients who have received the implants.
The 21 manufacturers include DePuy and the DePuy Pinnacle.The FDA will then
determine its course of action on metal-on-metal hip replacements according to
the results of this test.