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New National Joint Registry report for 2014 now published

Annual report from the National Joint Registry updates information on medical devices including metal on metal hip

Metal on metal hip replacements causing some patients problems

15 September 2014

On Friday 12th September 2014, the National Joint Registry (NJR) published its 11th Annual Report, providing data on joint replacement surgery and the performance of specific brands of joint prostheses. 

This years’ annual report shows for the first time that patients implanted with an uncemented metal on metal articulation, such as the DePuy manufactured Pinnacle Ultamet, are 50 times more likely to suffer an adverse reaction to particulate debris than patients implanted with ceramic-on-polyethylene bearings. 

This debris can trigger devastating loss of soft tissue and muscle around the implant and other systemic problems due to high levels of cobalt and chrome to which the patient may be exposed. The current US trials claim that these particles have led to significant injuries for those implanted with these types of prosthesis.

The report launched at the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA) congress in Brighton, includes analysis of more than 1.6 million joint replacement records and is now publicly available.  

Mary Cowern, NJR Patient Representative, who has undergone three knee surgeries for arthritis since 1996 said: “Evidence provided by an organisation like the National Joint Registry offers surgeons and patients an opportunity to start a meaningful dialogue within a shared decision making framework – where the surgeon and the patient can work together to make a decision about treatment”.

Boz Michalowska, who represents hundreds of patients who have suffered early revision and injury as a result of their implantation with metal-on-metal implants, explained: “Each year the NJR provides a snapshot into the revision rates for the most popular brands of prosthesis used in hospitals throughout England and Wales. 

“This year the NJR report states unequivocally that for most patients, the percentage of people needing surgery due to a faulty implant, known as the revision rate, could be less than 5% at 10 years following the implant, in accordance with recommendations made earlier this year by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). 

This gives all patients and surgeons a clear benchmark against which to measure the performance of specific brands of prosthesis, setting aside the marketing claims of some manufacturers which can be misleading and confusing to patients when deciding which prosthesis to select”.

Performance data reported for the Depuy’s Pinnacle Ultamet metal-on-metal prosthesis in this years report shows that the device, withdrawn form the market in August 2013, has a revision rate of 8.82% at 7 years, which is significantly higher than the benchmark figure of 3.5% at 7 years as recommended by NICE and the NJR.

Leigh Day currently represents hundreds of patients implanted with metal-on-metal total hip replacements all of whom are seeking compensation for the injuries that they have claim to have suffered through their exposure to metal particulate debris shed by their metal-on-metal devices. 

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