All metal-on-metal (MOM) hip implants after fracture need review

05 Jul 2017

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is now offering new guidance to health professionals in respect of patients with metal-on-metal hip implants.

Introduced in the 1990s, metal-on-metal hip implants have occasionally been used as a way to repair hip fractures. Whilst the majority of patients with this type of implant have well-functioning hips, some have developed soft tissue reactions where metal particles may have sheared off and deposited in the tissue, causing risk of bone or muscle damage. Until now, not all patients with this type of implant were required to be routinely followed up.

The updated guidance suggests that all patients should be routinely followed up to enable early detection of any potential problems. Patients will be contacted by their implanting centre to undergo a series of checks.

Should the checks, including blood tests or scans, pick up a problem, patients may require a further operation to replace the implant, however the majority will not require this.

The MHRA commented: "The use of metal on metal bearings has reduced dramatically and are now in less than 1% of all hip implants. Those currently on the market have met all the necessary safety requirements and surgery is performed in a few specialist centres.

Implanting centres will contact patients if a follow up is required, however if patients have concerns or questions about their metal on metal hip, they should speak with their GP or implanting surgeon.”


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