Metal on metal Hip Implants link with Cancer is just Fear
April 4, 2012: A study found no traces of links between the metal-on-metal hip replacements and the cancer. During this study, about 41,000 patients were analysed following their surgery for around seven years. However, no evidences claiming that metal-on-metal hip implants raise the risk of cancer were found.
Although the study states that cancer risk is just the fear associated with the implants, the researchers from the universities of Bristol and Exeter are not content and believes that longer-term follow-up was required.
After the reports of high failure rates in implants, the regulators declared for close monitoring of the metal-on-metal hip implants. The major concern that led to close monitoring is the thought that the cobalt and chromium made tiny metal ions break off from the implants finally leaking into the blood, thereby, leading to damage of muscle and bone along with neurological issues.
The study was based on the data made available from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, which covered 40,567 patients with metal-on-metal hip implants. The study was also conducted on 248,995 patients who underwent other types of implants.
Though the study could discover no prove of increase in risk of any type of cancer in the patients, the researchers said – “as some cancers have a long latency period it is important that we study the longer-term outcomes and continue to investigate the effects of exposure to orthopaedic metals.”
Apart from the risk of cancer fear associated with the implants, many of the experts wrote in The Lancet last month asking a ban to be imposed on metal-on-metal implants due to high failure rates. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued guidance in February on the entire metal-on-metal implants stating that 49,000 UK patients would require annual blood as well as MRI checks.
In addition to this, MHRA insisted that the implants include small risk which could cause complications in patients. However, the MHRA said that the mixed clinical evidences do not favour removal of metal-on-metal implants from the market.