Be Informed about Metal-on-Metal Implants

With the advancements in technology, more innovations are introduced including metal-on-metal (MoM) implants. Hip implants are among one of the pioneers in the field that can benefit those with severe hip problems especially the elderly. With hip deterioration, there is the continuous search for a hip device that can withstand the wear and tear overtime. The idea is to make these prosthetic devices permanent to save time, money and effort. However, every invention has a room for error like what happened to DePuy Pinnacle whose mother company is facing a $70 million lawsuit.

What is a Metal-on-metal (MoM) Hip Device?

MoM belongs to the 4 devices that the Americans can choose when they need to have a hip replacement surgery. It consists of a ball, stem and shell and all are made out of metal. The most commonly used metals are Cobalt-chrome and Titanium. There is no specific study showing which metal is better but cobalt-chrome has been used in orthopaedic prosthetics for 65 years without much report of allergies or rejections. In 2002, it was considered as a huge breakthrough when it was first introduced in America. Cobalt-chrome was the metal used in making the first MoM device.
Some companies like DePuy designed their MoM device to have an appeal on the youth and the active because of the durability.

Advantages of a MoM Hip Device

MoM hip device can be considered as the best in terms of durability and can relatively last a long time there is proper care. MoM device has a number of advantages such as the following:

• Greater freedom of activity
• Less chances of being dislocated
• Less total material removed (compared to other devices) when there is friction between the ball and socket
• Believed to last a relative longer period of time (at least 15 years) so a revision surgery or another hip replacement won’t be necessary

Concerns on MoM Devices

Together with the advantages, certain issues were raised on MoM devices because they are known to have a number of negative effects. A concern raised is the risk for developing metal toxicity as a result of the metal particles wearing off from the device. Over time, the metal particles can be a possible cause of injury to the bone and the tissues around and this phenomenon is called adverse local tissue reaction (ALTR). This may lead to the loosening of the implant which may ultimately cause pain and a revision surgery might be needed. Such reports were made by individuals who filed a DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit and want compensation for all their sufferings. As a whole, there are a lot of risks involved in a hip replacement surgery but your surgeon will help you go through each so you’ll know the best prosthetic device that will suit you.

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