New Joint Implants Had No Proven Benefit Over Older Ones

Newer hip and knee implants not proven safer than older technology

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) Newer technology may not always be the best choice for patients deciding on a joint implant.

Recently, researchers compared the safety and effectiveness of newer joint implants versus older implants. Looking at data from past research, they found that the newer implants had no proven benefit over the older ones.

Also, the newer implants didn't appear to last longer than older ones.

"Talk to your orthopedic surgeon about the safest joint implants."

Art Sedrakyan, an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, authored the study with colleagues.

New implants for for hip and knee joints have been introduced in recent years. But older, more established implants are often used in joint replacement surgery.

This study looked at the safety and effectiveness of five new implants.

The implants studied were ceramic-on-ceramic bearings, modular femoral necks, uncemented monoblock cups, high-flexion knee replacements and gender-specific knee replacements.

The study authors looked at data from past studies involving 15,384 implants and 13,164 patients total.

The authors assessed how effective the devices were at improving mobility and how safe the procedures were.

Then, they compared that data with the effectiveness and safety of older implants. They found past data on 1.2 million older implants.

The study authors found that the newer implants were not safer or more effective than the older ones. They wrote that the older devices were "well proven" and safe, while the safety of the newer ones "could be compromised."

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital wrote an editorial about the study. They wrote that the newer devices should not be "used widely until there is more clarity about their comparative effectiveness and safety."

The study and editorial were published Sept. 9 in The BMJ.

The MDEpiNet Science and Infrastructure Center funded the study. The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
September 9, 2014
Last Updated:
September 10, 2014