These days patients who undergo hip replacement surgery have amazing results. But recently a specific hip implant has been recalled by the manufacturer. That's creating plenty of concern among people who think they have one.
"Lots of anxiety... I have patients come in almost every clinic now. Doctor do I have the ASR recalled hip."
Dr. Lowry Barnes is one of the finest surgeons I know. He and his team do about 700 joint replacements a year. The Johnson and Johnson depuy implant in question was used in just a fraction of his cases.
"I did 16 of them ..so far none of those patients have had a problem."
In fact the vast majority of those who have the implant are doing just fine... but because the depuy ASR ball and socket is metal on metal... there may be some wear between the surfaces that might deposit trace amounts of chromium or cobalt into the blood stream.
"We really don't know how much chromium or cobalt the body can tolerate."
And in some instances the metal socket is also loosening too much. Physicians are contacting everyone that has the recalled implant. Dr. Barnes says at least one patient notified was adamant about keeping his implant.
"He said I know I have the implant. I just want you to know i'm not having a problem with it and even if you want to take it back you can't have it."
Considering all the joint replacements done today this is a minor problem. But attorneys are still soliciting clients on television. I recommend you consult your doctor. Find out if you are experiencing any of the issues the company has warned us about. and I agree with Doctor Barnes don't have it removed if you don't have a problem.
"You don't want an operation to take this out if it's working well... because you lose bone taking it out. A big operation can have challenges fractures, dislocations, infections so if you have a well-functioning hip you want to keep it."
And don't let the hype prevent you from having hip replacement surgery if it's recommended the benefits far outweigh the small risks. When it's over the only thing you'll likey have to recall is the pain you used to have.
If you've had a hip replacement and haven't been notified by your physician it's highly unlikely you have the recalled implant.