A recent high-profile medical research study has concluded that there is no definitive link now between metal hip implant systems and cancer but warns that it is too early to discount that possibility because many cancers take a long time to develop.
This news and follow-up research will be closely followed by patients who have had metal hip implant systems and are already suffering numerous medical problems because such a large percentage of these systems have proved defective. Problems reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and in allegations made in hip implant lawsuits include swelling, infections, constant pain, immobility and second operations in which the faulty systems were replaced.
Two of the most notorious systems were made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy, which, in 2010, announced one of the largest medical device recalls in history. Tens of thousands of the ASR hip implant systems were recalled after failure rates of up to 13 percent were reported. The most common problem was caused by erosion of metal parts which then were scattered through victims’ blood streams. More here on the possible Stryker Rejuvenate class action lawsuits
In addition to the DePuy systems, the Wright Conserve Profemur and Stryker Rejuvenate are among the metal devices most often named in these complaints and lawsuits.
“Some basic science and some epidemiological studies have suggested that metal-on-metal hip replacements may be associated with an increased risk of developing cancer after total hip replacement and specifically with an increase in malignant melanoma and haematological, prostate, and renal tract cancers,” Reuters News Service reported about findings in an annual report from the UK National Joint Registry (NJR).
The NJR, which collects data on joint replacement surgery and monitors the performance of the implants, said it used UK National Health Service Hospital Statistics data to test whether metal-on-metal hip implants are associated with an increased risk of cancer in the early years after hip replacement, compared with other surfaces, such as metal-on-polyethelene, according to the report.
Reuters said the NJR said it found no association seven years after implantation but that the devices should continue to be tracked as many cancers can take longer to manifest themselves.
“Due to the age of the NJR we could only assess the risk for the first seven years after hip replacement and are happy to report that we could not identify an increased risk of developing cancer,” the NJR said.
“We must, however, point out that many cancers have prolonged latency after initial exposure to carcinogens and thus long-term follow up is needed to provide a definitive answer,” it added.