NEW YORK, NY (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- More than three-quarters of a million people will have a hip replaced this year. But some may be a little gun shy after a large FDA recall of metal-on-metal devices, as they caused inflammation, tissue death, and heart and nervous system problems. Now, a new implant is replacing the metal with something safer.
Doctor Steven Harwin, Chief of Adult Reconstructive Surgery at Beth Israel Medical Center, has been replacing 15 hips a week for 30 years. His patient Gilbert Ramirez talked to us a few minutes before he was going to meet up with Dr. Harwin in the operating room. As a New York City tour guide, he rides transportation all day long.
"You figure there are 20 stops, you’re constantly going up and down the stairs. That’s when I noticed my hip started to give me a lot of pressure," Ramirez told Ivanhoe. His right hip was wearing bone on bone. "It stops you dead in your tracks."
Gilbert is getting a new type of hip replacement called Modular Dual Mobility hip, or MDM.
"This is what a contemporary hip replacement looks like," Dr. Harwin told Ivanhoe.
It has a metal shell, plastic insert and the implant attaches it to the thigh bone.
"The plastic can wear out," Dr. Harwin said. The new MDM replacement uses a porous titanium socket that allows bone to grow into it. "The range of motion is quite large, and the bearings move in conjunction with each other."
Tony Renteria had the MDM replacement a month ago. Getting around on foot in this city was a must, but he was at a disadvantage. "I could not walk at all," Renteria told Ivanhoe. Now, 30 days after surgery, he’s walking without a cane.
"From the next day, I felt absolutely fine. It was like I had no pain whatsoever!" Renteria exclaimed. Tony’s path to recovery continues, and he’s practically pain free-each step of the way.
While it’s relatively new in the United States, the MDM has been used in Europe for decades. Dr. Harwin is one of 30 surgeons worldwide who helped improve the design and update it with more modern, longer lasting materials. He says about 90 percent of traditional hip replacements last 15 years or longer. He hopes the MDM will give patients even better outcomes by helping to reduce dislocation of the implant. MORE
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