When Robert Peters wrote the Daily Mail for advice from Dr. Scurr about concerns with his metal-on-metal hip implants, the response seemed to only confirm his greatest fears – that his hip implants could be poisoning him.
Peters’ blood was tested after his surgeon informed him of the recent reports of metal-on-metal hip failures. “Blood tests revealed I have 100 times more than normal the amount of cobalt in my blood,” Peters wrote, “as well as dangerous amounts of chromium.”
Dr. Scurr explained that metal-on-metal hips are usually made of a stainless steel alloy containing cobalt and chromium, and were intended to be a design that would reduce wear between the ball and cup.
“However,” Dr. Scuff responded, “some types of ‘metal-on-metal’ replacements have not lived up to the promise, and may wear or come loose — this leads to minute particles of metal leaching into the soft tissues around the joint.”
This reaction is known as metallosis, which can cause discomfort and inflammation.
Dr. Scuff further advised that higher levels of cobalt and chromium can be found in the bloodstream as a result of the metal wear. Elevated cobalt levels have been linked to tremor, poor coordination, cognitive decline and depression as well as reportedly damaging effects on the heart, hearing and vision.
“Still, there is concern that cobalt toxicity is under recognised,” Dr. Scuff warned.
It’s possible to have high blood pressure as a result of high cobalt and chromium blood levels, as well as metal poisoning, dizziness and skin rashes, per the doctor.
Metal-on-metal hip implant manufacturers such as Wright Medical, DePuy Orthopaedics and its parent company Johnson & Johnson, Stryker, Smith & Nephew and Zimmer Biomet Holdings have been facing an avalanche of lawsuits in recent years for their allegedly failed hip implant designs.
Source: Daily Mail