Recent news releases and recalls warn of serious complications related to hip implants, particularly ones made of metal. Metal-on-metal implants consist of a metal femoral component and a metal cup to imitate the ball and socket hip joint. When a person with this implant walks, the metal components rub against each other and cause metal debris to be released into the surrounding soft tissue and bloodstream. A large amount of metal debris can lead to a condition known as metallosis. It is similar to lead poisoning in that it enters your system and can lead to several serious medical conditions. For people with metal sensistivity, the complications are more severe. The complications of metallosis include severe joint pain, implant failure, implant loosening, deterioration of the bones surrounding the implant, and in serious cases, headaches, cognitive issues, and problems with the nervous system. Metallosis is more often seen in people that had hip resurfacing, rather than total hip replacements. This is because most of these patients are younger and do not need the total replacement, and are also more likely to remain active and put more stress on the implant. If you had a hip resurfacing procedure with a metal-on-metal implant, you should ask your doctor if you are at risk for any of the associated complications.
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