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Scientists call for a ban on metal hip implants

EXPERTS are calling for controversial metal-on-metal hip implants to be banned after they found "unequivocal evidence" of high failure rates.

New data on more than 400,000 hip replacements found metal implants needed revising more often than other types and that failure rates were higher in women.

It comes two weeks after a UK health body issued new guidance on the implants.

Tiny metal ions made up of cobalt and chromium are thought to break off from the implants and leak into the blood, with fears this causes muscle and bone damage and neurological issues.


The research, published in The Lancet medical journal found metal-on-metal implants failed much more quickly than other types of implant, with a five-year revision rate of 6.2pc.

This compared with 2.3pc for ceramic-on-ceramic implants and 1.7pc for metal-on-plastic types.

The experts concluded: "Metal-on-metal stemmed articulations give poor implant survival compared with other options and should not be implanted.

"All patients with these bearings should be carefully monitored, particularly young women."

Alison Smith, a statistician in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Bristol, added: "We think there are better alternatives so we don't see a reason to use stemmed metal-on-metal implants any longer."