Hip Replacement Side Effects from MOM Hip Implants Just Keep Piling Up

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hip replacement side effects

We just blogged a few days ago about the hip replacement side effects from metal-on-metal (MOM) hip implants, and already there’s a new complication to toss on the MOM hip implant garbage heap. During the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting this week, presenter Dr. Stephen Graves shared research results concluding that the risk of heart failure in men nearly doubled after they’d received a metal-on-metal (MOM) hip implant.

When combined with the massive pile of other hip replacement side effects, some of which follow, we have to again ask, Why do surgeons keep using MOM hip implants?

A Review of the Hip Replacement Side Effects from MOM Hip Implants 

While we can hope that the addition of this newest complication—the risk of heart failure in men—attributed to a MOM hip implant will open the eyes of orthopedic surgeons still using these implants, the reality is that they will probably continue to use them. It’s hard to understand why when we review some of the complications we could reach in and pull out of the growing MOM hip implant pile (more details and studies on these complications can be found through this link):

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The FDA Reveals Hip Replacement Side Effects from MOM Hip Implants

We’ve been following hip replacement side effects due to metal-on-metal implants for years. In 2013, we shared with readers that the FDA was clamping down on MOM hip implants due to many complications found during their review of more than 100 studies. The FDA’s action plan for metal-on-metal hip implants, last updated online in April of 2015, further confirms what we’ve been reporting. The action plan addresses concerns of metal particles wearing off of the implant and entering the bloodstream, corrosion of the device, damage to bone and tissue around the implant, pain, implant loosening, and implant failure leading to revision of the surgery (removal of the old implant and replacing it with a new one).

The FDA link above states, “Different people will react to these metal particles in different ways. At this time, it is not possible to predict who will experience a reaction, what type of reaction they might have, when the reaction will occur, or how severe the reaction will be.” Currently, their recommendation is for patients to see their surgeons immediately when they experience symptoms and for MOM hip implant patients without symptoms to have regular follow-up visits with their surgeons to monitor their MOM implant. We can only hope as the complications continue to mount that the FDA will consider more drastic actions regarding these MOM hip implants in the future.

Are There Alternatives to MOM Hip Implants?

There are alternatives to MOM hip implants, which is why it is so dumbfounding that surgeons continue using them. While there are many hip replacement materials that may offer alternatives, metal on polyethylene, ceramic on metal, ceramic on ceramic, and ceramic on polyethylene, they all carry some degree of complications. You might want to learn more about how stem cells stack up against hip replacements.

The upshot? You’d think this growing pile of hip replacement side effects from MOM hip implants would generate enough garbage to discontinue their use, but manufacturers just keep making them and surgeons just keep using them. Maybe they’ll add heart failure to their list-of-potential-risks speech they give patients or in the fine print on their patients’ informed consent forms—after all, the surgeons have to protect themselves—but why not just stop using MOM hip implants?


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6 thoughts on “Hip Replacement Side Effects from MOM Hip Implants Just Keep Piling Up

  1. William J. Darr

    Just for a moment of clarity: while I am very much impressed by Regenexx biotechnology and stem cell applications, I do believe that some hip transplants have been quite effective and free of negative consequences. My own left hip THA in 2004, metal on HDPE, with the acetabular implant aligned by triple-reference infra-red beam coincidence, provided nearly pain-free and lasting recovery. I walked about 20 feet down and back the corridor the evening of the procedure, drove some 650 miles back to Pittsburgh twenty-two days post-op, and shoveled snow from my steep driveway upon arrival. Played competitive four-wall handball within six months after the procedure. Have had neither pain nor any signs of instability over the subsequent twelve years (the HDPE lining of the acetabular cup should last at least ’til I’m about 89 years old, since my procedure was down when I was 71 years old). While there is the downside that I may need a revision when I’m in my nineties (assuming that the HDPE wear becomes critical), I’m not sure that systemic support of stem cell implant therapy would be viable when I am in my nineties, either. I suspect that each approach has it’s place, depending upon individual circumstance and capability, and assuming that each is performed by talented, knowledgable, and extraordinary people.

    1. Regenexx Team

      That’s great to hear! There are definitely both joint replacements that are necessary, and performed masterfully. Our problem is 1/3 that are performed with no medical basis and those performed without regard to patient’s pre-existing conditions that earmark them for chronic pain, rejection and metal toxicity. That said, very happy to hear that yours worked out so well!

  2. Judith Glick-Ehrenthal

    I am a woman who had the stem cell procedure 8 weeks ago. I am wondering if you have any blog reports from woman who have done the procedure and how they are doing after. It is not on any blog I have read. I am in my 60’s so I assume my recovery may take longer than a 20 plus year old. However before my hip issues I have been very physically active and always asked if I am in my 40’s. Any reply would be welcomed .

    1. Regenexx Team

      Here is the just the type of Blog you requested: https://regenexx.com/hip-arthritis-stem-cell-injection/ Your general level of activity definitely works in your favor! Here is the Hip Infographic created from the Registry data, which gives a general overview, but the person who can give you the most meaningful information and advice about your particular recovery is the doctor who examined you and performed the procedure. Would you like our assistance in contacting him? https://regenexx.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Regenexx__infographic__HIP.pdf

  3. John D. Hannan

    I had my right hip replaced 12/14 due to a broken femur, the surgeon told me, after the surgery that my right leg (looked a little short) so he made it a little longer. Since then I have been unable to walk normally and I have constant pain in my back and I have a limp. Is there any solution?

    1. Regenexx Team

      Yikes! The body is an amazing thing, and if you’re leg had actually been shorter for your whole life, your body would have adjusted biomechanically to allow function, and the arthritis from the extra load and wear and tear is often the first clue to the difference in length. Conversely, if your legs had been the same length and if one ended up longer than the other as a result of the surgery, which can happen due to mis-sized prostheses, and insertion issues, the biomechanics of your body were drastically changed all at once and your back is taking the brunt. This is more common than one would imagine and we can treat the damage in your back, but we can’t shorten your leg. Getting a custom shoe made for the now shorter leg to equalize leg length will help. https://regenexx.com/blog/knee-replacement-and-a-long-leg/ https://regenexx.com/blog/if-you-have-knee-arthritis-check-your-leg-length/ If you’d like to chat with one of our Doctors about this, please fill out the Am I a Candidate Form here: https://regenexx.com/the-regenexx-procedures/back-surgery-alternative/

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