Unite Legal Services is urging its members with metal-on-metal (MOM) hip implants to visit their GP following a warning that the implants may be toxic.
The advice comes from UK health watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to more than 50,000 people who are thought to have received a MOM hip replacement.
Growing evidence suggests that the implants can cause soft tissue damage. All patients, whether they are showing symptoms or not, should seek medical advice.
“We’re strongly advising our members who have metal-on-metal implants to visit their doctor as soon as possible,” said Howard Beckett, Unite director of legal services. “It is very concerning that these implants could be damaging an individual’s body without them even being aware of it, which is why swift action needs to be taken. The earlier health problems are detected, the sooner the monitoring and treatment can begin.”
Females with implants will need annual check-ups for the rest of their lives, even if they do not have symptoms of muscle damage, because studies show that women are more likely to need corrective surgery. Men with symptoms will need an annual check-up, but those without symptoms will need testing less often – once every three years.
Updated guidance has also been issued by the MHRA has for medical professionals treating patients with MOM hip implants.
The implants were developed in the 1990s as an alternative to a metal ball and plastic socket, however, they have been largely phased out since 2013 after a study found a high failure rate in a review of 17,000 patients.
Mr Beckett added:
“If any of our members have suffered an injury because of the metal-on-metal hip implants, Unite Legal Services’ medical negligence solicitors, who are experts in product liability claims, can investigate a claim for compensation.”