First Ceramic-on-Metal Total Hip Replacement System Approved

Mark Crane

June 14, 2011

June 14, 2011 — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first ceramic-on-metal total artificial hip system for patients with osteoarthritis.

Previous total hip replacement systems cleared or approved by the FDA have used different combinations of metal, ceramic, and polyethylene (a form of plastic). The Pinnacle CoMplete Acetabular Hip System (DePuy Orthopaedics Inc) is the first to combine a ceramic ball and a metal socket.

Pinnacle CoMplete system

"Orthopedic surgeons and their patients now have an additional option for total hip replacement," Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said today in a news release.

Yesterday's approval was based on a 2-year, randomized clinical trial that found no clinical difference between 194 patients who received the new ceramic-on-metal system and 196 patients in a control group who received a metal-on-metal hip implant. Two patients who received the ceramic-on-metal system required a second surgery to replace their new implant compared with 3 patients who required a second surgery in the control group.

As a condition of approval, the manufacturer will conduct a postmarketing study, monitoring patients receiving the new system for adverse events and metal ion concentrations in their blood.

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