The August 2010 DePuy hip replacement recall for some 93,000 defective implants worldwide might have been bad news after data confirmed that the device design has had an unreasonably high rate of failure. There is potential good news for the manufacturers of metal-on-metal devices. German and American researchers have found a layer of 'graphitic carbon' on the head of all-metal hip products, new study shows. The U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) released a DePuy and Stryker hip replacement warning on report of high failure rates, in April 2012.
Problems with the design of DePuy metal-on-metal hip devices may had led to the rubbing of metal components
against each other and casting microscopic metal bits into the body.
Below is the list of metal poisoning symptoms:
Optic nerve / vision problems
The following are some of the risks brought about by flawed DePuy hip replacement implants, aside from metal poisoning:
Hip dislocation and unexplained hip pain
Complete hip failure
Additional hip replacement or revision surgery
Loosening of hip device
Detachment of the hip device from the bone
Genotoxicity (genetic damage)
Presence of chromium and cobalt in the blood that may lead to cancer
'Most major medical centers have seen issues with this device,' based on the newspaper interview with the chairman of orthopedic surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Dr. Joshua J. Jacobs. 'This does not come as a surprise.'
'Graphite has been used as a lubricant for over a century. It is a classic lubricant, and it appears to form naturally,' according to Laurence Marks, one of the researchers and also a professor at Northwestern University, teaching materials science and engineering.
Additionally, metal-on-metal hip replacement manufacturers could develop their product encouraging graphite formation to avoid the corrosion and metal poisoning, he suggests. The use of graphite was based on a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health that was published in the medical journal, Science.
'Now that we have a handle on how they are working and why they were working well, we can start to design them to make them better,' Marks further explains.
From 2008 until the recall of the products, the Food and Drug Administartion (FDA) have compiled approximately 400 damning reports against the devices from patients who needed to undergo another hip replacement surgery. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and its mother company Johnson & Johnson are currently facing various lawsuits filed by law firms in UK, US and Australia, in behalf of patients who underwent hip replacement operations.These lawsuits claim that the company was deferring the implementation of DePuy hip recall although it is aware of the problems of the devices. DePuy should circulate a wide range of information regarding malfunctioning hip replacement symptoms so that its patrons would be provided with due medical attention.
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