New hip implants appear to have no advantage over traditional implants, suggests a review of the evidence in a report published the British Medical Journal. And some evidence shows that new implants may be associated with higher rates of revision surgery.
Traditional hip implants with metal on polyethylene or ceramic on polyethylene bearing surfaces are associated with low revision rates. Newer alternatives with metal on metal or ceramic on ceramic bearings are available, but their advantage over traditional implants is still not clear.
There have also been severe cases of accumulation of metal ions in tissues of patients with metal on metal hip implants, leading the BMJ to call for better regulation of medical devices. And in 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated a comprehensive review of the evidence for approved hip implants.
Working with the FDA, a team of researchers led by Professor Art Sedrakyan set out to compare the safety and effectiveness of hip implants with different bearing surfaces.
They analyzed the results of 18 studies involving 3,139 patients and over 830,000 operations in annual reports of registries.