June 2, 2010
Among 150 U.S. orthopedic surgeons polled by the Millennium Research Group, 25% planned to reduce their use of metal-on-metal hip implants in the next 12 months, according the results of a survey the Waltham, Mass.-based research firm included in its newest Physician Forum Publication: “Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants: Bad Idea, or Just Bad Press?”
The physician publication, which is now available, investigated a highly controversial area and sought to determine whether any of the recent articles in the New York Times and The Sunday Times, as well as scientific reports and authoritative actions, have affected clinical decision-making concerning these prostheses.
“Continued negative media and clinical focus have led some orthopedic surgeons to be wary of metal-on-metal implants,” Melissa Hussey, senior analyst at Millennium Research Group, stated in a press release. “A significant minority stated they will curtail usage of these devices in primary total hip arthroplasty in favor of alternative bearing surfaces such as ceramic-on-polyethylene. This is not a universal trend, however; most metal-on-metal current users remain devoted fans, seeing superior range of motion, low revision rates, and generally good success.”
Those orthopedists surveyed gave hip implant manufacturers Biomet, DePuy, a Johnson & Johnson company, Smith & Nephew, Stryker and Zimmer moderately high satisfaction ratings, with the highest ratings among those surveyed going to DePuy and Biomet, according to the release.
In statistics that the Millennium Research Group provided to Orthosupersite.com, 89% of the orthopedists surveyed were either generalists or total joint arthroplasty specialists; 16% overall had never used metal-on-metal implants, but were considering using them. Among those surveyed, who were recruited by a third-party agency, 47% practiced in the Midwest or Northeast, 36% in the South and 17% in the West.
Articles published in March and April in the New York Times and The Sunday Times cited concerns with the all-metal hip implants and on April 22 the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Review Agency issued a medical device alert about metal-on-metal resurfacing and total hip arthroplasty prostheses.
The orthopedic surgeons surveyed perform about 8.5 total hip replacements monthly and 60 of them were metal-on-metal implant users at the time of the survey.
Return to In the News