Patients undergoing hip replacement surgery all across North America expect that the techniques and devices that will be used in the operating room will have been thoroughly researched and passed rigorous testing for efficiency and safety. The recent DePuy hip implant recalls have caused patients to become hesitant and anxious with not just hip implantation surgery, but with medical procedures in general. For this reason, patients should become more aware of the options that are available to them with regards to the different types of hip implant systems. The following is a list of the most common types:
This system is made up of a metal femoral head with a liner composed of standard polyethylene plastic. Standard polyethylene liners were once commonly used, but have since been found to be more susceptible to wear and erosion. Younger, more active patients are discouraged from these types of hip implants since they may require revision surgery seven to ten years from the original surgery. This class of implant is better suited for elderly, less physically active patients.
· Metal-on-highly crosslinked polyethylene
These implants have replaced the traditional standard polyethylene implants, although they are fundamentally the same. However, crosslinking of the polyethylene plastic provides added durability and stability ideally suitable for the younger, more active patient.
These hip implants are being subject to the current DePuy hip replacement recall. Although it should be noted that there are no known reports of other manufacturers producing these types of implants having the same high implant failure rates as DePuy. Metal-on-metal implants are known for their added longevity, stability, and range of motion given to the patient. The major cause for concern is the potential for inflammatory, allergic responses to the metallic particles released due to erosion of the metal component of the implant.
In the category of resistance to wear, these types of implants outperform both metal and plastic. Though there is an increased risk to breakage and fracture of the implant, it is least likely to cause an allergic reaction from its components.
The DePuy hip recall brings doubts as to the safety of all types of hip implants. Patients undergoing hip replacement surgery should consult with their surgeon to discuss which implant is best for them. Those affected by the DePuy hip implantation recall should consult with an experienced attorney regarding proper compensation. For more information regarding ongoing litigation, visit the DePuy hip recall website.