Two common metal-on-metal hip replacements have been taken off the medical market and NHS hospitals will be banned from fitting the majority of the devices after a study revealed high failure rates.
Research by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) discovered unacceptably high failure rates among implants in 17,000 patients, some as much as 43%.
Two common models have already been removed from the market amid pressing health and safety fears.
The regulators have drawn up new guides preventing the NHS from using any hip implants with a failure rate in excess of 5% at five years.
This means that almost every single type of metal-on-metal hip implant, including five more devices which are still being used, should no longer be fitted in patients.
What is the problem with metal-on-metal hip replacements?
Nice have issued a warning advising patients who have been fitted with the implants to have annual checks. These include blood tests, as concerns have been raised the devices can leak toxic metal.
Surgeons have voiced concerns that the products used in such procedures tend to wear at a faster rate than other types of implants.
As the implants wear down, friction on the surfaces can cause tiny metal particles to break off and enter the space around the implant, causing a number of side effects.
Some people suffer inflammation and discomfort around the implant, which can cause damage in the bone and tissue surrounding the implant and joint over time.
This may cause the implant to become loose and generate painful symptoms, meaning the patient requires further surgery.
In the worst possible scenario, blood poisoning or metallosis can occur, which if left untreated can be fatal.
Stephen Cannon, an honorary consultant surgeon for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, welcomed the report.
He said: “I think there is a question about whether it goes far enough, but this is definitely a step in the right direction — it amounts to a ban on most of them.”
The regulatory ban means that just two types of metal-on-metal hip devices currently being used fall within the proposed national standard.
Lampkin & Co Solicitors are one of the UK’s leading law firms handling compensation claims for the failure of metal-on-metal hip products.