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Dangers of metal on metal hip replacements featured on NPR

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A recent program on NPR gave a fairly comprehensive overview of the dangers of metal on metal hip replacement devices. I’ve copied the link below, and I encourage you to give it a read or listen to the audio.

Titled “Prone to failure, some all-metal hips need to be removed early,” the report originally aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, and includes an interview with a woman who is waiting for revision surgery to remove her failing artificial hip.

Her description of the pain she’s suffered is graphic and detailed – and will make you cringe. Since her original implant, she has suffered from “constant, worsening pain.” “It’s a hot pain…every step is agony…I can’t sleep without painkillers.” All made worse when you discover this will be her second surgery to alleviate the damage done by her original implant.

These types of devices are failing at an alarming rate; there’s some dispute on exact percentage, but at least 500,000 Americans having all-metal hips, it adds up to a staggering number of patients who are suffering because of them.

What is even more disturbing is, despite all the problems associated with all-metal devices and despite the thousands of lawsuits being filed, they are still being marketed.

This is troubling because researchers are finding high levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood and organs of many patients with all-metal implants. This causes metallosis, a buildup of metal debris, tiny pieces of cobalt and chromium that flake off and work their way into surrounding tissue.

I am very involved in this issue, and I will be writing more about it in the future. In the meantime, I urge you to go to the NPR link to learn more about the dangers of metal of metal hip replacement devices. Sheer numbers say it’s a safe assumption many of you have clients who have this type of artificial hip, and many of those will fail. Be prepared, they will be needing help in the near future.

NPR link:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/03/19/148769073/prone-to-failure-some-all-metal-hip-implants-need-to-be-removed-early