Metal-on-metal hip implants leave patients with unanswered questions, anxiety

A couple in the U.K. told England’s Hull Daily Mail that they are living with worry and uncertainty about their all-metal hip implants after physicians found elevated levels of chromium and cobalt in one of the patients.

According to the Hull Daily Mail, Hetty Smith, 68, underwent hip resurfacing surgery on one hip in 2000 and the other in 2001, receiving an all-metal implant. In 2008, her husband Brian, 74, had hip resurfacing surgery on one hip, during which he was also fitted with a metal-on-metal prosthesis.

Concerned about the all-metal hip implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, which were recalled in August 2010 after being implanted in more than 90,000 people, Mr. Smith’s physicians called him in for tests. Mr. Smith later found out through his general physician that the hip-implant tests revealed high blood levels of chromium and cobalt, the two metals that all-metal implants can release into the bloodstream and tissue.

Metal particles in the body often trigger an inflammatory reaction that affects different people in different ways. Symptoms typically include anxiety, cognitive decline, constant pain, depression, dizziness, fatigue, hearing loss, incoordination, irritability, memory loss, nerve atrophy, organ damage, rashes, swelling, tinnitus, tissue damage, tremors, tumors, and vision impairment.

Doctors aren’t sure why elevated levels of heavy metals in the body cause some hip-implant patients a great deal of pain, biological damage, and illness while others with the same or higher blood metal concentrations experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

Mrs. Smith now lives with uncertainty and anxiety over what unseen damage the all-metal hip devices may be causing. Making matters worse, the Smiths’ attempts to find out more about their all-metal hip implants have been unsuccessful. Mrs. Smith told the Hull Daily Mail that her appointment for further testing on her hip implants was cancelled. Inquiries about they have made about the implants have gone unanswered.

“It’s outrageous, because we are worried and we are not being told anything,” Mrs. Smith told the Hull Daily Mail.


Hull Daily Mail