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How safe are metal-on-metal hip implants?

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Tags: hip, bad news, surgery, medicine, harms, random, treatment, pain problems

Five articles on PainSci cite Cohen 2012: (1) Massage Therapy for Back Pain, Hip Pain, and Sciatica(2) The Complete Guide to IT Band Syndrome(3) The Complete Guide to Neck Pain & Cricks(4) A Historical Perspective On Aches ‘n’ Pains(5) Chronic, Subtle, Systemic Inflammation

PainSci summary of Cohen 2012: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible.

A scholarly analysis of the safety of MoM implants:

Hundreds of thousands of patients around the world may have been exposed to toxic substances after being implanted with poorly regulated and potentially dangerous hip devices, a BMJ/ BBC Newsnight investigation reveals this week. Despite the fact that these risks have been known and well documented for decades, patients have been kept in the dark about their participation in what has effectively been a large uncontrolled experiment.

Cobalt-chromium implants have been used successfully in orthopaedics for years—for example, in knee operations and fracture repair. They are known to release metal ions, but some metal-on-metal prostheses do so on a much greater scale than previously thought. These ions can seep into local tissue causing reactions that destroy muscle and bone and leaving some patients with long term disability.

Harris tells the (chilling) story of metal-on-metal hip implants in Surgery: The ultimate placebo, one of the best-ever (and freshest) examples of surgical overconfidence.

~ Paul Ingraham

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