Statement on metal on metal hip implants.

Safety warnings | messages in brief | 01/03/2012

As early as April 2010, the Federal Office for Safety in Health Care was informed about potential problems with the use of metal-on-metal hip implants.

The Federal Office for Safety in Health Care assessed the risk situation for Austrian patients. As early as May 2010, the most important manufacturers operating in Austria as well as the responsible medical societies, the Austrian Society for Trauma Surgery and the Austrian Society for Orthopedics and Orthopedic Surgery were contacted on this issue.

An accumulation of incident rates with such products on the Austrian market did not emerge. In Austria, an overall complaint rate of metal-on-metal hip implants of <= 0.5 percent was shown over a period of more than ten years since market introduction. Overall, these products play a minor role in the care of Austrian patients - only about 0.44 percent of patients received such metal-on-metal hip implants between 2008 and 2009. Incident rates - especially for hip joints - are related to patient-specific risks and, in particular, to the indication as well as the implantation technique.

The information about possible complications with metal-on-metal hip implants has been known to the professional societies and the treating physicians via the professional societies since April 2010 - this problem has been published in several scientific publications and can be considered as a known side effect. However, the decision as to what is the best treatment for a patient must be made on a case-by-case basis by the treating physician and the patient concerned. In doing so, the physician takes into account not only the individual patient situation but also available information about known risks - based on this consideration, implantation of such metal-on-metal hip implants may nevertheless still be the best care for the patient. However, it can be assumed that the implantation figures have declined sharply based on the current information.


Further inquiry note