Metal hip implant patients need life-long checks

Metal hip implant patients need life-long checks

The government have advised that patients who have undergone large head metal-on-metal hip replacements should be monitored yearly for the rest of their life.

The new advice comes as a joint BBC Newsnight and British Medical Journal investigation reports that problems with such devices have been long known, but no action taken to block their use.

All-metal hips have a high failure rate and rubbing between the ball and cup can cause metal to break off, seeping into tissue and causing complications.

Dr Susanne Ludgate, Clinical Director of the MHRA, said in a statement:

“Clinical evidence shows that patients have a small risk of suffering complications from having metal-on-metal hip implants…

“As a precautionary measure, we have today issued updated patient management and monitoring advice to surgeons and doctors that they should annually monitor patients for the lifetime of their metal-on-metal total hip replacements that are sized 36 millimetres or more because this particular type of hip replacement has a small risk of causing complications in patients.

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