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According to the research, the presence of these heavy metals could lead to cognitive issues such as depression and dementia like symptoms. The research, published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information and under the umbrella of the National Institutes of Health chronicles patients in the United Kingdom who went through the surgery and received a metal-on-metal hip replacement system, such as DePuy Orthopaedic’s Pinnacle system, which has since been recalled. To date, the maker of the Pinnacle system, has been found liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to patients who suffered issues after their implantation. The Pinnacle system was found to have both design and production flaws, leading to the failure. DePuy Orthopaedics is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Metal-on-metal hip replacement systems use a metal ball and joint, rather than a plastic or ceramic joint. However, these systems have failed at a higher than normal rate, requiring revision surgery or surgeries and causing other problems, such as irritation at the implantation site. Another problem has been the heavy metal shavings that can lead to bleeding at the implant site or leech into the patient’s bloodstream. This condition is called “metallosis.” Metal-on-metal hip replacement systems use cobalt and chromium, both of which can cause various health issues. The NIH study found that the cobalt and chromium shavings were having mental health effects on the patients: “We present the first case series suggestive of clinically significant depressed mood and neurocognitive impairment following MoM hip failure with concomitant chromium and cobalt toxicity.” The study recognized that some of the mental health issues could have stemmed from worry about the hip replacement system failure and potential ramifications. However, the researchers determined that there was more at play: “Neurocognitive abnormalities however might be mediated by either static brain damage caused by chromium and cobalt toxicity or could represent a dynamic process, that is an early onset dementia triggered by metallosis. If the latter is the case it might have major, as yet unrecognised, implications for public health.” The researchers concluded that metal-on-metal hip replacement systems should be removed even if they have not yet failed: “Other than revision surgery there is no effective adsorption or chelation therapy for chromium and cobalt, and if such therapies could be safely developed, it may avoid the need for further surgery. In the meantime, to preserve neurocognitive function implant removal conceivably should be as soon as possible after toxicity is detected.” Though the researchers noted the potential effect on product liability cases ongoing and in the future, they commented that patient health is more important than commercial concerns: “There are additionally potential public health implications for the care needed by many thousands of patients who have potentially suffered MoM related cobalt and chrome toxicity, should progressive cognitive decline be found in this group and the associated requirements for dementia care. This has some relevance to product liability litigation worldwide. However we believe that any commercial factors should be set aside in the interest of public safety and the bioethical principle of social justice.” The study focused on patients in the United Kingdom who underwent hip replacement systems with a metal-on-metal ball and joint. The researchers narrowed down their patient list to 10 patients whose systems had failed. They found that before revision surgery, nine of the 10 were suffering from toxic levels of chromium and cobalt in their blood. All nine of those patients met clinical criteria for depression at a “moderately severe” level. Seven of the nine exhibited short-term memory loss. Other cognitive problems seen in the patients included disorientation, problems with tests of concentration and word finding difficulties. --authored by Rick Fahr.
Hip firm 'cashed in' on unsafe implants which left thousands of patients in pain
Colin Gee said his life was "blighted" by a DePuy metal-on-metal hip implant. Mark Lanier, a lawyer representing patients suing DePuy in the US, said âDePuy's behaviour, including hiding the truth for the public, is atrocious.â DePuy's lawyers have ...
DePuy Pinnacle Hip Lawsuit Trial Delayed Until September 18th
RX Injury Help (press release) (blog)
DePuy Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants. In January 2013, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration warned that metal-on-metal hip replacements were associated with higher rates of early failure compared to those constructed from other materials. Last year, the ...
'Track nut' to induct new class to hall of fame
The ATFHF will induct its 24th class during a 6:30 p.m. banquet Friday in the Silver City Ballroom of the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock. All of the inductees are connected to Arkansas as track and field athletes, coaches, officials or ...
Phi Betta Kappa inductees named
The Phi Bet Kappa Society's Beta of Arkansas chapter at Hendrix College recently inducted twenty-seven seniors on April 25. According to a Hendrix representative, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest and largest academic honor society, with more than ...