Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hip replacement failure rate 'higher than first thought'

Published on 10 Mar 2011
The failure rate of a hip replacement manufactured by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is higher than first thought, it has been suggested.

The company's ASR XL device was recalled last year when a study indicated that 13 per cent of patients required second operations, or revisions, after five years.

In response, the British Orthopaedic Association and the British Hip Society issued guidance advising surgeons to contact all patients with the components to inform them they had been given a device which had been withdrawn, and to keep them under close surveillance.

It has since emerged that the rate of failure is greater than first feared, with data presented at the British Hip Society Annual Conference pointing to a revision rate of between 21 per cent at four years to 49 per cent at six years.

The figures are based on "well researched and audited results" of large diameter metal on metal (MOM) bearing total hip replacement devices, including the ASR XL.

Statistics were supplied by a number of hip units, including those in Belfast, Southampton, Cardiff and Stockton on Tees.

While J&J's ASR XL device was found to be the most unreliable, there are indications that large diameter MOM devices from other manufacturers could be similarly affected.

John Skinner, an orthopaedic surgeon and chairman of the British Orthopaedic Association and the British Hip Society's expert advisory group on metal bearing hips, conceded that the data have not yet been peer reviewed for publication.

Nevertheless, he told said that he believed the results were "reliable".

"It's probably the best indicator so far of what the failure rate is likely to be," he added.

The British Orthopaedic Association and the British Hip Society said that its earlier advice still applied, adding that pain reported by patients with these devices should be taken extremely seriously.

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