The concern is that metal implants rub against one another and in doing so free tiny shards of metal. These can enter the blood stream and cause poisoning. It is claimed the metal sgards can cause inflammation which damages muscle and bone. Medical regulators began investigations and currently claim that patients are, "at low risk of developing any serious problems". The MHRA, medicines and health care regulatory agency, have been advised that the metal hip replacement could cause "systemic toxicity"
The UK began to use the metal implants in the 1990s but they were withdrawn in 2010. They were initially introduced as a better alternative but one has to wonder if it was cost rather than quality which was the overriding factor.
A spokesperson for the MHRA stated "On the evidence currently available, the majority of patients implanted with metal-on-metal hip replacements are at low risk of developing any serious problems."We are continuing to closely monitor all evidence. This needs more analysis before any conclusions can be drawn and further advice given. "We have already taken prompt action to investigate safety concerns and have provided advice on patient management to relevant healthcare professionals."
The British Hip Society carried out a study in which it found that the failure rates of metal hip replacements was greater than at first thought.
There are 1,000 cases of legal action waiting to be settled. These are from people who claim to have suffered ill effects after having metal hip replacements fitted.