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Implants Jason K Lowry MD

Metal-on-Metal Implants: What you need to know

  • Do you have questions about Metal-on-Metal (MoM) implants?
  • Have you, a family member, or friend received a MoM implant?
  • Are you concerned that your implants have been recalled?
  • Do you have questions about hip resurfacing?

Over the past few years, there has been an over-abundance of media coverage (largely negative) about recent recalls to specific joint replacement implants, namely one specific device that is a MoM total hip replacement system. Please know that, as your doctor, I do not endorse, nor will I ever recommend this implant system for you. Please review the

MoM implants were designed to prevent dislocation, which is one of the primary causes of failure of hip replacement systems. The MoM designs allow for a larger head ball size, which increases the stability & motion of the joint. The down side is that metal ions are created & not only impact the tissues around the joint BUT are also accumulated in the blood stream. The medical community does not know what the long-term impact of increased metal ions will be over time. More importantly, there are a small percentage of patients with MoM implants that develop what are called “adverse local soft tissue reactions” around the joint. During my fellowship, I personally treated many patients with this catastrophic problem & it can be very difficult manage. Therefore, I have made a personal decision to never recommend MoM implants to my patients. Studies have shown that there are safer bearing alternatives out there (Ceramic-on-Polyethylene, Ceramic-on-Ceramic, or Metal-on-Polyethylene) that do allow larger head sizes (in the range of 36-40mm) which afford adequate stability BUT do not have the down-side of metal ion production.

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