ROSEMONT, Ill. — A new study out of Canada finds that while men have total joint replacement surgery at a younger age than women, they are more likely to suffer complications or need revision surgery.
Dr. Bheeshma Ravi presented his study to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He and his team looked at patients who had first-time knee or first-time hip replacement between 2002 and 2009. The study looked at almost 100,000 total knee and hip replacement surgeries. It found that men were most likely to suffer postoperative complications. Men are 15 percent more likely to visit the emergency room in the first month following their first total hip replacement surgery. Men are also 60 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack within the first three months of their total hip replacement and 70 percent more likely after a total knee replacement. Men are also 50 percent more likely to need revision surgery in the two years following a total knee replacement.
The data the study presents is worrisome considering the increasing number of men and women who are seeking a total hip or knee replacement despite the ongoing recalls and lawsuits involving such medical devices. Not all hip or knee implants present dangers. In fact, they are a necessary part of many Americans’ lives and provide a new lease on life and mobility for thousands of patients. However, certain types of knee and hip implants cause serious injury and costly complications.
Metal-on-metal implants (both hip and knee) are the most dangerous and yet are still sold and used. Metal-on-metal implants have been marketed to younger patients because they are supposed to last longer. Unfortunately, they come at a high price. The metallic coating on the various component parts flakes off when the implant rubs against itself or other bones. The result is metal fragments in the body, which can lead to significant problems.
In the past ten years, the top six manufacturers of knee implants recalled over 700 types of knee-related implants or component parts. These various implants were recalled for a variety of issues that focused on them loosening, instability, faulty design, and fracturing. The most common result of these defects is implant breakdown from constant weight-bearing stress, allowing for fluid build-up, causing painful stiffness, and fracturing the joint.
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