Published on Jan 18, 2013 by Edgar Snyder

The FDA Changes Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Regulations

Metal-on-metal hip replacement

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has told hip implant manufacturers that they have to prove their products are safe if they want to continue to market them. This regulatory change comes after numerous studies showed that metal-on-metal hip implants have high failure rates and can lead to serious injuries.

Approximately 500,000 people in the United States have received all-metal artificial hips. Though designed to be more durable than their plastic and metal counterparts, they tend to fail early and more often. As a result, thousands of patients have required painful correction surgery and in some instances, metallic debris from the implants led to severe tissue and bone damage from metal poisoning called metallosis.

Previously, hip implant manufacturers were only required to show that their product was similar to one already on the market and did not have to conduct clinical studies before selling them. Under the FDA's new guidelines, manufacturers must now file a "premarket approval application (PMA)" that includes valid scientific evidence demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of their product.

Additionally, the agency urged healthcare providers to be aware of metal poisoning in patients who have received metal-on-metal hip implants. Symptoms include: skin rash, cardiomyopathy (heart disease), neurological changes like auditory or visual impairments, psychological changes including depression, renal function impairment, and thyroid dysfunction.

Experts believe that it will take a year for the new rules to be finalized. Manufacturers will then have 90 days to submit their data.

More metal-on-metal hip implant news:

Have You Suffered Complications from a Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant?

If you've been injured by a defective metal-on-metal hip implant or any other dangerous medical product, we understand what you're going through. We have decades of experience helping people who have been injured by products that were supposed to make them better.

If you or a loved one has been injured, let us know. You can call 1-866-943-3427, or fill out the form at the top right of this webpage for a no obligation, free legal consultation.

Sources: "FDA Clamps Down on Metal-on-Metal Hips." MedPageToday. January 17, 2013.
"FDA Seeks to Tighten Regulation of All-Metal Hip Implants." The New York Times. January 16, 2013.
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