Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
Metal-on-metal hip implants were initially thought to be more durable and longer lasting than their counterparts. They were built to last up to 20 years, but have been reported to fail much earlier than that by many patients.
These devices poses several risks because the components of the devices can release harmful metal ions into the patient’s hip when they rub together. These metal ions can lead to chromium and cobalt toxicity, tissue damage, bone damage, loosening of the device, and infections. The complications can become so severe that a hip revision surgery may be required. As a result, several models have been recalled.
Ceramic-on-Metal Hip Implants
A ceramic-on-metal hip implant typically creates less friction between the components, and as a result wear down at a slower rate than metal-on-metal implants. Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers have recalled some of these devices – not necessarily because of problems inherent with ceramic-on-metal implants, but due to concerns applying to all hip implants. While older versions of ceramic implants were prone to serious problems such as shattering, these problems have not been reported with newer versions.