According to the Lancet, which has a prestigious heritage as one of the world’s leading medical journals striving for medical excellence in all that they publish, there is great concern because of soft tissue reactions to metal debris caused by metal on metal hip replacement implants.
European orthopedic associations such as the National Joint Registry of England & Wales and the Dutch Orthopaedic Association have encouraged follow up for patients who have metal on metal hip replacement implants and even go as far as advising against the use of all metal on metal large head hip implants.
Other recommendations include to summon all patients who have had metal-on-metal replacements in the past to an annual check-up, for at least the next five years at least and to include assessment of cobalt ion concentrations in blood and x-ray diagnostics.
A London-based medical device maker has recalled a metal liner which a component to the extremely popular R3 Acetabular System hip device. Smith & Nephew introduced the metal liner into the medical device marketplace in 2009 and about 7,700 have been implanted in patients. The medical device is a multi-bearing acetabular cup system used in total hip replacement procedures.
Our colleagues across the pond seem to be taking the proper proactive and socially responsible steps out of concern for their patients. Maybe that’s why the British even celebrated their healthcare system during the opening of the Olympics much to the dismay of the United States where so many people have no healthcare. Maybe that is the difference between socialized medicine and for profit healthcare where the CEO salary package is several millions of the dollars.