Hip Replacement Implant Recall News

A front-page NY Times article published yesterday noted that reports of adverse events concerning hip implants, particularly metal on metal hips, are at an all time high. The FDA, according to the Times, has received 5,000 Hip Implant complaints since January. That number is greater than the number of hip complaints the federal agency had received in the previous four years combined.
While the FDA has begun a full-fledged review of all metal-on-metal hip implants, including data on failure rates, the number of adverse effects and failed hip implants will in all likelihood continue to increase. Two factors contribute to this increase 1) hip replacement surgery is one of the most common procedures in the US and 2) There are 500,000 metal on metal hip replacement patients, according to one estimate. Of course, we don’t have hard data on these numbers because the US doesn’t maintain a medical device registry, a database of medical devices which contains among other things, failure rates and adverse event reports on hi replacements.