June 26, 2012

Another recall for metal-on-metal hip replacements

Smith & Nephew, a large manufacturer of metal-on-metal hip replacement units, has recalled its R3 metal cup liner, an important component of its R3 Acetabular System used in metal-on-metal hip replacements. 

Following the announcement of the recall the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a Medical Device Alert warning surgeons and hospitals to stop the use of the metal  cup liner in metal-on-metal hip replacement operations with immediate effect.

Following analysis of national statistics held by the National Joint Registry, Smith & Nephew found that the metal-on-metal hip replacements which incorporated its R3 metal cup liner had a failure rate of 6.3% after just four years. Such a high revision rate after what is a short period of time is not in line with guidance set by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence).

Smith and Nephew have announced it believes 281 patients in the UK have been fitted with the faulty metal liner and face a greater risk of their metal hip replacement failing. Where a metal-on-metal hip replacement fails patients can suffer

The MHRA has given guidance to surgeons and hospitals recommending all patients fitted with the device are to be followed-up annually for the life of the metal hip unit so as to monitor and continually check for symptoms and side effects of product failure.

Patients who have been fitted with the R3 metal cup liner should expect to be contacted by the hospital where they had their original hip replacement operation.

This product recall comes amid growing concerns over the safety of all metal-on-metal hip replacements. In August 2010 DePuy recalled several models of metal hip replacement units it manufactured after it was argued that its products failed in nearly 50% of cases after only 6 years.

Holmes & Hills solicitors are one of the leading firms in the UK acting for people with metal-on-metal hip units who are seeking compensation for injury and/or illness they have suffered as a result of their metal hip replacement.

Unlike other firms Holmes & Hills are giving free legal advice and are acting for all metal-on-metal hip patients, regardless of whether the particular model they have been fitted with has been recalled.

For more information on getting free legal advice in relation to a possible claim for compensation, click here.

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