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More evidence that newer metal-on-metal (MOM) hip replacements may not be as effective as traditional implants: A British study found that all-metal implants require maintenance at a much higher rate than other types, the Associated Press reports.
Experts analyzed data for more than 400,000 hip replacements – 31,000 of them MOM devices – from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales between 2003 and 2011. After five years, MOMs failed in about 6% of the people studied, requiring repair or replacement. In contrast. the failure rate for people who had ceramic or plastic joints ranged from 1.7% to 2.3%.
Ashley Blom, head of orthopedic research at the University of Bristol and one of the study authors, noted that while over 9 out of 10 MOM implants work fine, the fact that safer alternatives are available means that people need not take the risk. “If I were a patient, I would not choose a metal-on-metal hip,” he said.
Last November, the Food and Drug Administration sponsored a report that uncovered similar failure problems with all-metal hip replacements, and requested that makers conduct safety studies on them.
According to AP, doctors usually expect hip joints to last at least a decade.