One Patient Is Warning the Public About the Dangers of Hip Surgery

A hip resurfacing patient is warning other patients about the adverse side effects associated with these types of hip replacement systems.

Retired teacher, Lottie Clarke, underwent hip resurfacing as a less invasive alternative to total hip replacement in 2007, said Hemmel Today. In 2011 Clarke began experiencing pain and was bothered by how one of her hips “clunked.”

”I wouldn’t have done anything, but after reading about the faulty implants I went back to the hospital for a check up,” the 63-year-old grandmother told Hemmel Today. “They discovered that, as a result of the implants wearing away, I had dangerous levels of metal ions in my blood, a symptom of cobalt and chromium poisoning, which can cause cancers, kidney and liver failure, and cobalt poisoning. I was terrified,” Clarke added.

As we’ve explained, all metal hip implant devices have been linked to high rates of implant failure and early revision. In March, The Lancet published a study showing that all-metal hip implants fail at a rate of six percent in five years, compared to the two percent seen in plastic or ceramic devices. These findings prompted the study authors to call for an end to their use.

Also, the FDA addressed risks associated with metal-on-metal hip implants and asked 21 manufacturers to conduct post-market safety studies on the devices to assess whether they release dangerous amounts of metal ions into the body.

This summer, an FDA advisory panel met to discuss the pros and cons of the devices. At the conclusion of the three-day meeting, the experts advised that metal hip patients undergo yearly physicals, imaging scans, and possible blood screening for metal ions in order to detect complications. Some panelists questioned whether or not metal-on-metal hip replacements should be used at all in the future.

Clarke researched the matter and learned what we have long been reporting, that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in Britain, had been aware of high failure rates associated with some implants for several years and that surgeons and patients had never been made aware of these findings, said Hemmel Today.

Clarke asked attorneys to investigate if action could be taken saying, “I am aiming to raise awareness of this as it could be a national scandal. Many of these faulty implants have been used in operations for people like me and they are living in blissful ignorance of the potential long-term risks to their health. They probably don’t have any symptoms, but they should find out from the hospital where their operation took place if they’ve had metal on metal hip implants. It is vitally important that they ask to have their ion levels checked.”

Clarke is waiting for replacements of her faulty implants and must undergo two major surgeries, Hemmel Today pointed out.

Metal used in the construction of the implants was believed to last for at least two decades, Hemmel Today pointed out; however, growing reports indicate that some patients have required painful revision surgeries just two or three years after original implantation.

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