Patients Have Bone to Pick With Squeaky Fake Hips

Noisy ceramic joints worry doctors
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 11, 2008 8:10 AM CDT
NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka grimaces in pain after mentioning his four hip replacement surgeries during a news conference in November.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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(Newser) – Ceramic artificial hips are far more durable than their metal and plastic counterparts—but frustrated patients are complaining that they squeak. It's embarrassing. “It can interrupt sex when my wife starts laughing,” said one. But some doctors fear it could be a sign that the ceramic replacements aren’t as durable as advertised, the New York Times reports.

The FDA has issued a warning to the hips’ chief manufacturer, Stryker, about squeaking and other problems, and a number of patients have sued the company. While some doctors link the squeaking to “catastrophic failure” of the fake joints, a physician on Stryker’s payroll who tested the product said he has found “no evidence that the wear associated with squeaking would lead systems to fail.”