Each year, throughout the United States about 270,000 people undergo a hip replacement procedure. The costs for such a procedure are not exactly affordable, as these procedures usually cost at least $17,000. And when you’re paying that much money and putting yourself through a recovery that isn’t that easy, you’d expect your hip replacement to be worth the fuss. Lately evidence has piled up to show that metal hip implants aren’t exactly that bullet proof, as a result the FDA is currently reviewing these.
This Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) answered to concerns regarding the actual durability of metal hip implants. The FDA informed that it has put together an expert review scheduled for June 27 – 28 that would lead to better quality and more rigorous standards for metal hip replacements that will go for sale on the U.S. market.
Dr. William Maisel is the deputy director of science with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health within the FDA. He announced that the advisory panel set up for June will help professionals in the industry to come up with better practices that will ensure the devices are safe. He said: “We are asking outside scientific and medical experts to discuss recent information on these devices so that the agency can continue to make reliable safety recommendations”.
The FDA review panel on metal hip implants comes one year after the agency had required all such manufacturers to present more information regarding their devices. Earlier this year, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson had to recall $3 billion worth of metal hips under its DePuy Orthopedics brand.
As years have passed, evidence has piled up to point out that metal hip replacement devices aren’t so durable nor that safe. Data shows that metal hip replacements tend to fail sooner than devices made from other materials and patients that carry them usually have a higher metal ion blood concentration.
FDA’s announcement has already prompted some turmoil in the market, as shares of several orthopedic device manufacturers have plunged. Affected by the decision were Striker Corp, Zimmer Holdings and Johnson & Johnson.
At the moment, there are about 500,000 people in the United States with a metal hip device.