On April 3, 2012, Bloomberg News reported on the results of a study published in the British Medical Journal (“BMJ”) regarding the link between hip replacement and cancer. The study concluded that patients with all metal hips do not have an increased risk of developing cancer than patients with other types of artificial hips, or the general population. The hip replacement and cancer study was conducted over a seven year period. Although there was no direct link found between hip replacement and cancer, researchers from the BMJ agree that a longer-term review is necessary to determine whether all metal hips put individuals at a greater risk for cancer.

The concerns about the possible link between hip replacement and cancer stem from the fact that debris can shed from the all metal hips and enter the bloodstream. In turn, the metal may lead to tumors that could take many years to develop. Given that the August 2010 DePuy ASR hip recall affected 93,000 individuals worldwide and the fact that other models of all metal hips remain on the market, denying a connection between a hip replacement and cancer may have serious long-term consequences.

All Metal Hips Study Contains Numerous Flaws

The head of the orthopedics department at the University of Bristol in the U.K. and co-author of the BMJ study, Ashley Blom, pointed out additional flaws in the study to Bloomberg News, such as:

  • the study failed to account for the fact that all metal hips were marketed to younger patients, who generally tend to have lower rates of cancer, and;
  • the long-term biological effects of all metal hips are unknown.  “You need really big numbers and ideally you would want a 20-to-30-year follow-up” to accurately assess the relationship between a metal-on-metal hip replacement and cancer, Blom said

Lancet Study Found That All Metal Hips Should Be Banned

A prior study, published on March 12, 2012 in The Lancet abstract medical journal, found that all metal hips fail at greater rates than all other types of hip replacements, and called for a ban of all metal hips. The study analyzed data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales of more than 400,000 patients who received hip replacement implants between 2003 and 2011. Out of the 31,000 patients who received all metal hips, 6.2 percent of patients required revision surgery within five years. The researchers found evidence “unequivocal” and concluded that all metal hips should no longer be used.

Contact An Hip Replacement And Cancer Lawyer

If you’re among one of the thousands of patients with all metal hips who has suffered serious side effects as a result, consider filing a hip replacement lawsuit. The hip replacement lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are actively filing cases on behalf of individuals with all metal hips, including the DePuy ASR and Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip systems, as well as the Wright Conserve hips. The firm has recovered over $3 billion on behalf of its clients, and will help you navigate the complex litigation process. Contact our lawyers today for a free case review.

Published April 17, 2012 by