It was announced yesterday that joint replacement treatment for osteoarthritis doesn’t give you cancer. That’s good to know! Don’t we have enough to cope with?
When you get to a certain severity the only treatment for osteoarthritis is a joint replacement. You can get metal ones, ceramic ones or metal on plastic.
Now none of these will last nearly as long as your original joint (which only goes to show how clever the human body is!) but metal ones have been shown to have a much higher failure rate than other types.
MSN reported these statistics on failure rates:
“metal-on-metal implants failed much more quickly than other types of implant, with an overall five-year revision rate of 6.2%. This compared with 2.3% for ceramic-on-ceramic implants and 1.7% for metal-on-plastic types.
At seven years after surgery, some implants meant one in 10 patients needed further corrective surgery, with the risk linked to the size of the implant head.”
All in all that is not good reading for those of us considering this type of surgery which is highly invasive and takes several months for recover from. Doing it twice doesn’t bear thinking about.
Worse still was the worry that the metal ones may cause cancer.
“Tiny metal ions made up of cobalt and chromium are thought to break off from the implants and leak into the blood, with fears this leads to muscle and bone damage and neurological issues.
Today’s research, published online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), is based on 40,576 patients with metal-on-metal hip implants and 248,995 who have other types, linked to hospital data.
The experts, from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter, found no evidence of an increased risk of any type of cancer in people with implants compared with the general population.
However, they said “as some cancers have a long latency period it is important that we study the longer-term outcomes and continue to investigate the effects of exposure to orthopaedic metals”.
So actually what they are saying they don’t think these implants cause cancer so just in case they will keep checking.
Seems to me they really should follow this advice
“Last month, experts writing in The Lancet medical journal called for all metal-on-metal implants to be banned due to evidence of high revision rates.”
I do wonder how much money is wasted on the research that is being done on the treatment for osteoarthritis. Perhaps it is time they stopped spending money on research that asks stupid questions like “Do we need research on whether we need research on whether we should use canes or not” (I kid you not!). Some non medically phrased advice on how to use a cane properly would be good though.
Don’t you think it would be a better idea if they more money spent actually investigating new types of treatment for osteoarthritis or whether the invasive type treatment they are giving us, such as the NSAIDs and the joint replacements, actually puts our lives at risk?
Let us know what you think about these failure rates or tell us your experience with a joint replacement or another type of treatment for osteoarthritis. It may help someone else decide what the best option for them is. Bookmark this page or Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with news about osteoarthritis.