back to article UK firm 'recalls' 575 knee implants

UK "advanced medical devices" firm Smith & Nephew has recalled about 575 knee implants because they contain "too much iron", the BBC reports. About 275 patients are already sporting the metal-heavy implants from the TC-PLUS, VKS and RT-PLUS ranges, and the company is trying to track down another 300 which have been "supplied …


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  1. Sam


    If the pain from early failure of the things causes you to adopt new sleeping habits for relief, will you become known as a Marley?

    Iron, Lie on, Side on.......

    I know, I know, the second word is "off"...

  2. Daniel Bennett

    Whipping Out

    "A spokeswoman admitted that whipping the implants out might cause "more distress and worry" than leaving them be,"

    No shit sherlock!

    Your not just going to walk up to someone, open their knee and whip the bloody thing out are you! OFcorse that will cause more distress - They've got no knee!!


    Shall I go before I get ahead of myself?

  3. James Dunmore

    It has to be a worry....

    And I guess some people will be "knee"ding new ones?

  4. tom

    whipping out

    "A spokeswoman admitted that whipping the implants out might cause "more distress and worry" than leaving them be"

    - sounds like a knee jerk reaction to me...

  5. andy rock

    i thought these things...

    ...were made of some hardcore Titanium stuff? anybody know what the score is? iron seems a little 'lo-fi' for artificial limbs, surely...

  6. Peter


    I dare say they havn't a leg to stand on ?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    100% iron

    ~100% iron would be unsuitable, for sure. You'd rust...

    "The metal components (often the femoral and sometimes the tibial) are made of a steel alloy which has cobalt, chromium and molybdenum in it. This material is inert in the body - it does not react with the tissue and fluids in the body to cause problems, and is mechanically very strong. Tibial components can be made of titanium instead which has great strength and is lighter than steel."

    Stainless steel, basically.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Beep beep

    Is it because they'll set off the alarms at airports confusing the toiletries police? Thus interrupting their lucrative trade in reselling perfume and expensive shampoo.

    I have chose Paris Hilton, for she too is artificial.

  9. Pete
    Dead Vulture

    Not suprised

    A spokeswoman admitted that whipping the implants out might cause "more distress and worry" than leaving them be:

    considering the cost of each op is between £6000-£10,000. Roughly 3.45 million at least. Thats, thats, nearly as big an one of their execs bonuses!!!

  10. Joe Blogs


    Presumably Smith & Nephew will be paying for Private operations to replace any faulty knees and not dumping this on the NHS for all and sundry to pay for....

  11. stuart meadowcroft


    i understand that (at the moment) each leg joint can only be replaced the once, with a prosthetic that lasts 15 years or so (depending on how fat you are?)

    if one of these potentially "defective" joints lasts significantly less long than that, surely they've wrecked the individuals mobility?

    take them to court! they wouldn't have a leg to stand on!!

    (sorry, someone done that one already? damn!)

    there must be some room here for a hip-hop joke, but I don't know any.

  12. BK

    Hip Hop angle duly submitted

    If it wasn't for unfortunate complications of surgery in the Hip hop world I would say Kanye and Knee-yo could do a public service rap tune about the dangers of surgery

  13. Anonymous John
    IT Angle

    Kneel before your new overlords!

    I can't. My knee has rusted solid.

  14. Sam

    Record alert

    Is there a record for the most "I'll get my coat" posts in a thread?

    This one must be up there....

  15. Anonymous Cowherd

    Whipping out? Whipping?

    I should think not. Whipping is bound to damage surrounding tissue.

  16. Julian

    Financially speaking...

    that'll put the company out of joint.

  17. mezla

    I prefer this subtitle

    WTB: Giant magnet

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "hardcore Titanium stuff"

    I think the substance you are thinking of is tantalum, although there are many different types of hip replacement, which use different substances, including ceramics and plastics. You would have to ask an orthopaedic surgeon. Be nice to their secretaries, they are good people.

    "i understand that (at the moment) each leg joint can only be replaced the once"

    Revision total hip replacements are not uncommon; if the initial operation goes badly, or the patient sustains a fracture, or a dislocation, or the implant becomes loose, or the patient has a leg length discrepancy, or the patient simply lives for a very long time, a joint replacement can be replaced if the consultant is willing to do it, and the patient is willing to accept the risks. With revision procedures the surgery takes longer and it is more complicated, and also the patient is older, and may be suffering from whatever has caused the implant to become loose. Again, you would need to ask an orthopaedic surgeon, and don't go into a panic if you read alarming things on the internet.

    I choose Paris Hilton as my avatar. You killed my father. Prepared to die.

  19. TeeCee Gold badge

    It could work.

    Magnetic knees for kneeling Muslims to get a compass bearing with. There's a market there you know.

  20. Chris Barrett

    Knee material

    Joints such as this are usually produced from 316 grade Stainless Steel and the specification of material is normally pinned down to a particular sub-grade of this metal. Its used generally throughout the medical world but is particularly expensive and hard to get hold of (thanks to those industrious Chinese).

    Titanium is the other favoured material but is even more expensive than 316 SS and may not necessarily be suitable for joints. I remember from my days as an aircraft engineer that it was a bugger to machine.

  21. Lee


    would the patients need to beg on bended knee for a replacement?

    rusted joints, oh the iron-y

    Coat donned, taxi called.

  22. Tawakalna

    oh b*gger..

    well that's just fan-bl**dy-tastic. On top of the HMRC losing all my child benefit details, the Inland Revenue losing 4 years of my NI contributions, and going deaf from all industrial noise I was exposed to years ago by HM Govt, now my knee replacement has to go back. Going to put a new one back in, are they? or am i going to have to wobble around on one leg like Long John Silver?

  23. Anonymous Coward

    I've got one!

    So now what? ...Do I wait until it rusts up like the tin man in the Wizard of Oz!

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