U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff have sent word to agency advisers meeting this week that there should be more and consistent tests to study the effect of metal in hip implants on surrounding body tissue. The staff said these tests might help lower high failure rates on implants made by Johnson & Johnson and Zimmer Holding Inc.
Recently, the agency released reports that showed there were nearly 17,000 complaints related to metal-on-metal hip implants from 2000-2011. An advisory panel was set to meet June 27-28 to discuss metal-on-metal implants and widespread, international recalls.
Johnson & Johnson's DePuy hip implants were recalled in 2010 and account for about three-quarters of the FDA reported complaints. The company is facing thousands of lawsuits related to the hip implants.
Dr. Joshua Jacobs told Bloomberg News Service that surgeons should know how to treat hip implant patients with high levels of metal in their blood because metal ions hurt body tissue and require replacement surgery.