Cobalt Chromium Toxicity Resource Center

How Do I Reduce the Risk of Cobalt Toxicity from a Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant?





When a person undergoes surgery to receive a metal-on-metal hip implant, there is a future risk of being exposed to chromium and cobalt ions that scrape off the implant due to friction. Symptoms of exposure may include localized pain, severe inflammation and swelling, evidence of tissue death, evidence of bone loss and asymptomatic masses. Other symptoms may include fatigue, nausea, visual impairment, headaches, mood changes and rashes.

Any person who has a metal hip implant and experiences the above symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. Blood tests can be used to identify whether a person has too much cobalt or chromium in his or her blood. The longer a person is exposed to elevated cobalt or chromium levels, the worse the prognosis. If caught early, there is a much better chance of a full recovery.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Minimize My Risk of Cobalt-Chromium Toxicity?

If you have had your hip replaced with a metal-on-metal implant, you should always be alert for the signs of cobalt-chromium toxicity. If you have kidney disease or a compromised immune system, you are at a higher risk of complications. Even if you are not having symptoms, it is still possible that you are being exposed to unhealthy amounts of cobalt and chromium ions; after all, it can take years for the condition to become symptomatic. The best way to protect yourself is to have your blood frequently tested for unsafe cobalt or chromium levels. Some doctors advocate getting tested once per year; others say that as often as once every three months is the best practice to follow.

Cobalt-chromium toxicity is but one of many potential problems caused by metal-on-metal hip implants. Many lawsuits have been filed on behalf of patients who have suffered complications related to hip implants. If you have been injured or had to undergo painful procedures due to your hip implant, call Kershaw, Cook & Talley PC at (888) 817-2527.


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