Recently the FDA posted a lukewarm warning about metal debris in patients with metal-on-metal hip implants like the DePuy ASR Hip.  It’s not exactly a resounding call to action, but at least it’s a start.
The warning itself doesn’t give many specifics:

“Different people will react to these metal particles in different ways. At this time, it is not possible to know who will experience a reaction, what type of reaction they might have, when the reaction will occur, or how severe the reaction will be. However, it is known that over time, the metal particles around some implants can cause damage to bone and/or tissue surrounding the implant and joint. “

This type of side effects might be particularly important for patients with the DePuy ASR Hip Implant.  If these implants loosen or get out of alignment, excessive metal wear is certainly something to keep an eye on.   Yet another cause for “concern,” as the FDA puts it.

If you have a DePuy ASR hip implant, you really need to make an appointment with your orthopedic surgeon to make sure everything is okay, even if you don’t have symptoms.  That checkup should include blood tests even though the FDA says there’s no reason to check for metal ion levels in your blood if you don’t have symptoms.  At this point, patients with a recalled hip inside their bodies should go along with the saying, “better safe than sorry.”

Click on these links for more information about:  the DePuy ASR Hip Recall, Blood Testing for Metal Ions in Recalled DePuy ASR Hip Implants, and the FDA’s Concerns about Metal on Metal Hip Implants. 

Metal on Metal Hip Recalls, News The FDA Kind-of Sort-of Warns Patients about Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants