A study carried out by Heart Research UK found that people that received certain hip replacements in the 2000’s, could now be at risk of heart disease. This follows a deeper analysis of the heart health of those patients who received the metal-on-metal replacements, which revealed some disturbing findings.
Although concerning news for those patients affected, this has brought into focus the cardiovascular health risk for anyone undergoing hip surgery. Following this research, more advanced testing measures are being developed that will only lead to better outcomes for patients.
The Heart Research Study
Metal-on-metal implants made from a cobalt and chromium alloy were once believed to be a more durable alternative to the ceramic or polyethylene implant materials. This was a good option for the young and active. But, in fact, the lifespan was significantly shorter.
Although some loose debris is expected after any replacement, metal debris is more toxic. Over time, implant loosening caused metal ions to contaminate the blood. This caused tissue damage and inflammation around the joint, leading to pain, muscle as well as organ damage.
Research carried out at the University of Strathclyde looked at blood samples of 30 patients that had received metal-on-metal implants. It found varying levels of cobalt present in the blood, and further ultrasound analysis revealed abnormal contractile function in their hearts.
The researchers believe that cobalt interferes with calcium levels in heart cells, reducing their ability to contract. This could potentially lead to heart dysfunction in some patients.
Modern Hip Replacement Implants
Unsurprisingly, metal-on-metal bearings are no longer used for hip replacements and are exclusively used for hip resurfacing procedures these days.
Mr Punwar typically uses a combination of metals, ceramics and plastic materials for hip replacements. When using a metal head, a plastic liner will be used, or a ceramic head with a plastic liner for younger patients. All of his materials are 10* rating, and proven to have excellent long-term results on the National Joint Registry (NJR).
It is important to understand there are always risks associated with a major surgery such as a hip replacement. All aspects of the surgery, including risks and your suitability, will be discussed with you before you decide whether you want to go ahead. Mr Punwar and his team will provide a comprehensive aftercare programme and you will have regular check-ups following your surgery.
To discuss whether total hip replacement surgery is the appropriate option for you, call 0808 163 1268 or email Punwar.email@example.com to arrange a consultation with Mr Shah Punwar.