Metal hip replacements should not be fitted13th March 2012
Researchers from the University of Bristol have warned that all metal hip replacements "should not be implanted" as they have a greater risk of failing than other types.
The research, which was published in The Lancet, drew information from the biggest register of hip replacements in the world to show some replacements were more risky than others.
The researchers said the data provided "unequivocal evidence" of the failure rates of different types of hip replacements.
The team looked at records for 402,051 replacements from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales.
The data showed there was a failure rate of 6.2% for metal-on-metal hip replacements within five years, in comparison to only 1.7% of metal-on-plastic and 2.35 of ceramic-on-ceramic hip replacements.
The researchers found the failure rate was greater for women and wrote in the report: "Revision rates for stemmed metal-on-metal implants in women were up to four-times higher."
The clinical director of the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency, Dr Susanne Ludgate, said: "We recognise that there is emerging evidence of increased revision rates associated with large head metal on metal hip replacements. But the clinical evidence is mixed and this does not support their removal from the market."
"We will take quick action if we need to and, if patients have any questions, they should speak to their orthopaedic surgeon or doctor."
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