Dr. Christensen explains if a large diameter metal-on-metal hip replacement is the most advanced replacement available.
It’s cutting edge, but remember, when you are on the cutting edge, there’s an opportunity to be cut. There are clearly benefits to it with regard to hip stability, as I just mentioned. There’s no plastic in the system so plastic ware and the debris associated with plastic ware and its consequences on the surrounding bone seems to be less of an issue. But there are unanswered questions with regard to allergic reactions to the metal and the metal ions.
There are unanswered questions with regard to metal ions throughout the body and in the bloodstream and its effect perhaps on the kidneys or the liver, say 20 years from now. There are unanswered questions with the possibility of cancers in the future. Those, the questions with regard to kidneys, liver, bloodstream cancer seem to be hypothetical problems that may never come to fruition. So in some patients, particularly my obese patients, I find that I am much able to do a better, safer, quicker operation on those people and then, we’ve eliminated the plastic from the system and so the obesity doesn’t cause as much damage to the plastic, causing the plastic to wear out and necessitating the hip to be redone in the future.
About Dr. Christensen, M.D.:
Dr. Christian Christensen, M.D., is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is orthopedic surgeon at Lexington Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Lexington, Kentucky. He specializes in complex revision and primary hip and knee replacements, minimally invasive joint replacements, joint replacement alternatives, and accelerated rehabilitation following joint replacement.