Physicians quoted in an article in Arthritis Today about all-metal hip implants said patients who received the devices should get checked regularly to make sure metal debris known to break off from the devices aren’t causing them any health problems.
The implants, featuring both a head and a socket coated in metal, have been problematic both for their high early failure rate and for their tendency to give off toxic metal shavings that get into patients’ bloodstream and soft tissues.
According to the report, cobalt and chromium ions can cause cardiovascular problems and may damage DNA.
The article quotes Dr. Art Sedrakyan, MD, an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, as saying that no good studies of the short- and long-term effects of ions exist.
David Lewallen, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic and board chairman of the American Joint Replacement Registry, recommends that all hip replacement patients see their doctors at regular intervals, even if they have no symptoms. He also recommends surveillance of metal ion levels for patients with metal-on-metal implants, especially if they have kidney disease or other health problems.
The article quotes Nicolas Noiseux, MD, an assistant professor of orthopaedics at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, who says: “I see patients who have large-head metal implants once a year, and at the slightest complaint, I suggest testing for blood cobalt and chromium.”
If you’ve had a metal-on-metal hip implant, you should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a hip lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
See the article here: http://www.arthritistoday.org/news/hip-replacement-failure-rate187.php