FDA panel wants closer monitoring of metal hips

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Associated Press

Posted on June 28, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 28 at 5:03 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government health experts are recommending regular blood and imaging tests for Americans who are experiencing pain from metal-on-metal hip implants, amid growing evidence that the devices can break down early and expose patients to dangerous metallic particles.

The Food and Drug Administration is seeking advice on new safety monitoring guidelines for more than a half-million U.S. patients who have received metal hip replacements in the past decade. The devices were originally marketed as a longer-lasting alternative to older ceramic and plastic models. But new data from the U.K. and other foreign countries suggests they are more likely to deteriorate, exposing patients to higher levels of cobalt, chromium and other metals.

FDA's experts recommend regular X-rays and blood testing for metal if patients are complaining of pain and other symptoms.

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