The latest annual report is out from the National Joint Registry

Last week the National Joint Registry (NJR) for England and Wales published their 12th Annual Report.

The annual publication of this data provides patients with an important insight into the survivorship of the prosthetic devices, including hips, knees and shoulders which are, or have been, made available to many of them through the NHS.

Leigh Day, currently represent over 900 patients implanted with metal-on-metal prosthetic hips, many of which have now been withdrawn from the market following the reporting of poor survivorship rates. All of the individuals represented by Leigh Day allege to have undergone early revision of their devices as a result of suffering an adverse reaction to metal debris shed from their implants.

The ongoing Group Action Litigation being brought by Leigh Day seeks compensation for those patients who were implanted with such devices such as the  ASR and Pinnacle Ultamet devices, manufactured by Depuy, a susbsidiary of the US corporate giant Johnson and Johnson, Birmingham Total Hip manufactured by Smith & Nephew and the Durom device manufactured by Zimmer.

Sarah Moore lawyer for the Leigh Day claimants, notes that:

“The report provides further conclusive evidence that patients implanted with metal on metal hips are significantly more likely to suffer revision of their metal on metal hip implants, than if they had been implanted with devices comprising alternative bearing materials, all of which have been available for many years. This years data shows that a patient implanted with a metal-on-metal hip has a 23% chance of revision at 11 years, which is 4 times higher than the revision rate indicated for conventional metal-on-polyethylene devices and some 7 times higher than patients implanted with ceramic-on-polyethylene devices” [see T3.7].

Further:

“The data reported today by the NJR confirms that patients implanted with the Pinnacle Ultamet device on a Corail femoral stem had a chance of revision at 10 years post op, of over 15%. Guidance published by NICE in 2014 states that the best prosthetic devices should have a revision rate of no more than 5% at 10 years. As such, this new data is strongly supportive of the cases that we are bringing against Depuy and other metal-on-metal hip manufacturers”.

This year’s annual report also breaks new ground in underlining the clinical importance of maximising the survivorship of a primary implant  and delaying revision  for as long as possible by reporting data which demonstrates that the risk of failure of a secondary or revisions implants is “much higher” than for a first-time implant:

Martyn Porter, NJR Medical Director, explains:  “The data confirms that the outcome for the patient is poorer than the first-time surgery – the risk of the implant failing within ten years is much higher than when a first-time implant is replaced”. [From website]

Sarah Moore notes “Mr Porter’s comments  underscore the importance of minimising the risk of revision of any prosthetic device, and, to my mind emphasises the additional clinical risks to which metal-on-metal hip patients have been exposed as a result of their implantation with devices which, as demonstrated again by this years NJR data, are much more likely to fail than alternative non-metal on metal devices”.

Bozena Michalowska Lead Solicitor in the Pinnacle Metal on Metal Hip Litigation stated; patients who have had metal on metal hip component implanted which have failed early are entitled to seek compensation for the pain and suffering and financial losses occasioned by the early failure of the hip replacements. There are currently group action proceedings in respect of the Zimmer and Pinnacle hip components. Patients wish to join the group claims,  should make contact with a specialist solicitor as soon as possible. The Zimmer group register will be closing on the 30th October 2015.