Although not yet part of a product-wide recall like the DePuy Orthopedic’s metal-on-metal ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System, Stryker’s Cormet metal-on-metal hip system and DePuy’s metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip may also cause metalosis, a potentially dangerous and serious condition caused by the metal components of these products grinding up against each other – causing microscopic metal ions (cobalt and chromium) to break off into the surrounding tissues and bloodstream. These hip devices have been implanted in hundreds of thousands of patients over the past several years and their early high failure rates seem like only part of the problem. Perhaps the bigger concern should be this risk of blood toxicity and chromium and cobalt poisoning – the potential adverse effects of which are still being investigated but include soft tissue damage, bone loss and inflammatory reactions. In addition, studies have shown that elevated level may potentially have harmful effects on immunity, reproduction, kidney function, the nervous system and carcinogenisis.
High concentrations of cobalt and chromium have been found in patients with metal-on-metal hip resurfacings. In some cases, it has been reported that patients have been diagnosed with over 100 times the normal levels of these toxic metals.
The question remains whether this metal-on-metal design has been thoroughly and adequately tested by companies like Stryker and Depuy. If you or a loved one have been implanted with one of these devices, it is important for you to contact your physician and make sure your body is not quietly being subjected to this dangerous condition without your knowledge.