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Hip Resurfacing has “Unacceptably High” Failure Rates

October 2, 2012 — Experts are warning about “unacceptably high” failure rates associated with hip resurfacing implants, especially for women and small men. The study, published in The Lancet, compared outcomes for patients implanted with traditional total hip implants versus hip resurfacing. Hip resurfacing is supposed to last a decade or more, but the researchers found that the implants only lasted that long for large, middle-aged men.

The lead researcher on the study, Dr. Ashley W. Blom from the University of Bristol, said: “Resurfacing failure rates in women were unacceptably high. In view of these findings, we recommend that resurfacing procedures are not undertaken in women.”

Her conclusion was based on an analysis of data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales. The registry tracks patient outcomes for joint implant recipients, providing data for many studies. The researchers collected information on 32,000 people who had a hip resurfacing procedure between April 2003 and September 2011. They investigated the rate of failure within seven years, comparing hip resurfacing procedures to traditional full hip replacements.

The researchers found that hip resurfacing procedures had an average five-year failure rate of 5% — significantly higher than the average 2% five-year failure rate for full hip replacements. The increased risk was even more pronounced for women, who had a 10% five-year failure rate, more than five-times higher than full hip replacements. The researchers also found high failure rates for smaller men.

Hip resurfacing, like the name suggests, is a procedure where a surgeon re-shapes and caps the patient’s hip joint with a metal surface. It is an alternative to a total hip replacement, which involves removing the “ball” part of the patient’s hip and implanting a prosthetic device. Hip resurfacing is advertised toward younger people with hip problems, because the procedure retains more bone for a possible future total hip replacement surgery.

Hip resurfacing procedures implant patients with a metal-on-metal hip implant. The metal parts grind together when a patient walks, which can cause tiny metal debris to accumulate around the hip joint. This can cause painful inflammation, irritation, tissue damage, bone loss, metal poisoning, decreased mobility, and other severe complications that may require additional corrective surgery.

Do I have a Hip Resurfacing Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting hip resurfacing induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by a hip resurfacing implant, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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