Call us free on 0800 862 0373

Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

New guidance issued for patients with metal-on-metal hip implants to prevent blood poisoning

Published on 29/02/2012

New guidance has been issued for patients with metal-on-metal hip implants to prevent thousands of people suffering adverse complications.

Around 49,000 people have been given metal-on-metal hip implants, which can rub together and cause tiny metal particles to break off and seep into the blood. High levels of metal ions in the blood have been linked to cancer and neurological problems.

The Regulatory Agency has advised that people with metal-on-metal hip implants are checked every year.

Metal-on-metal implants are two to three times more likely to fail than ceramic ones, with one in eight needing to be replaced within 7 years.

One specific type of metal-on-metal implant, the ASR by DePuy, was recalled in August 2010 because it was linked to very high failure rates.

Previous guidance issued in 2010 by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said patients with metal-on-metal implants only needed to be followed up for 5 years.

But the Regulatory Agency has now 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 test should be repeated every three months. If the metal ion level has risen the patient should be given a MRI scan to check for muscle damage.

People with very high levels of metal ions would have the hip replaced.

If the test shows that the level of metal ions is not rising, it should be repeated every year for as long as the patient has the implant. Patients who are already experiencing swelling, pain or other symptoms should be sent for an MRI and have the hip replaced as necessary.

Dr Susanne Ludgate, Clinical Director of the MHRA, said: "We recognise there is a toxicity association with very high levels of cobalt and chromium levels.

"As far as we can find there have been nine cases of patients who have had such high levels (of metal ions in the blood) that it has manifested itself in symptoms like neurological problems and in all these cases this was reversed when the hip was taken out."

Dr Ludgate advised that it is up to the orthopaedic surgeon to contact their patients and arrange these tests, but if people are worried they should visit their GP.

The Dr Foster Hospital Guide 2011 states that out of all the hospitals providing hip replacements four out of the top five are private. Care UK was rated the top independent provider, followed by Spire Healthcare, UK Specialist Hospitals, and Ramsay Healthcare UK.

Compare health insurance online now to get top quality healthcare without the queues.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Medical
New guidance issued for patients with metal-on-metal hip implants to prevent blood poisoningNew guidance has been issued for patients with metal-on-metal hip implants to prevent thousands of people suffering adverse complications.     tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

Proactive, efficient, and offered me insurance I need. I would say half price I would end up paying if I did it by myself. Many thanks.

Review centre member

Excellent service. Explained everything in detail and really helped to find the right insurance best suited to my needs - which wasn't necessarily the most expensive. 

Review centre member

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member

Staff are very helpful, friendly and polite. They call back when they say they will and keep you up to date with progress. Pleasure to deal with.

Review centre member

Very polite and friendly, and gave detailed explanations of all aspects of the cover. Reassuring to know that if you do have a problem there is someone you can contact.

Review centre member

Friendly and efficient. Nothing was too much trouble even when i needed to make a small change, excellent service.

Review centre member
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...