Published on 04/04/2012
New analysis of patients in the UK has found no evidence that metal-on-metal hip implants increase the risk of cancer.
Researchers from the universities of Bristol and Exeter studied data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales. The data covered 40,576 patients with metal-on-metal hip implants and 248,995 with other types.
Their findings, published on the British Medical Journal Website, show that there was no increased risk of any type of cancer in those with metal-on-metal hip implants in the seven years following surgery.
However, the researchers did state that long-term follow up is needed, “as some cancers have a long latency period”.
Increased cancer risk was just one of the fears linked to the metal-on-metal hip implants. Tiny metal ions made of cobalt and chromium are thought to break off from the implants and leak into the blood, potentially causing muscle and bone damage and neurological issues.
Metal-on-metal implants have also been found to fail more quickly than other types of implant, with an overall five-year revision rate of 6.2 per cent. This compared with 2.3 per cent for ceramic-on-ceramic implants and 1.7 per cent for metal-on-plastic types.
In February the Regulatory Agency issued new guidance saying that all patients with metal hip implants made from a metal cup with a 36mm ball or larger should have regular blood tests to see if metal ions have leaked into the blood.
The MHRA has said the clinical evidence is mixed and does not support their removal from the market.
The Dr Foster Hospital Guide 2011 ranked private firms Care UK, Spire Healthcare, UK Specialist Hospitals and Ramsay Healthcare UK as the top providers of hip implants. Compare health insurance quotes online now to get covered for these hospitals on your private medical insurance.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: Medical