Hip implant materials swing sharply to polyethylene


A two-day hearing held at the end of June in Washington, D.C. put an unusual, very public focus on the types of materials used in medical implants, specifically hip replacement and resurfacing systems.

On the docket were a Who's Who of medical device manufacturers and international medical professional associations. Precipitating the hearings by the Food and Drug Administration's Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices panel was a rising tide of failures of metal-on-metal hip implants.

There have been two metal-on-metal (MoM) total hip replacement device recalls in the United States: the Zimmer Durom Total Hip System (2008) and the DePuy ASR Total Hip System (2010).

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