Results Received today:
Chromium 31.0 ng/mL
Cobalt 25.0 ng/mL
How do these values compare to the experience of others?
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@tim11 – Welcome to Mayo Connect. There are a few of us out here who have been through the heavy metal issue with our hips.
Typical guidelines are less than 7ng/ml for Chromium and less than 5ng/ml for Cobalt. Sensitive individuals can experience issues at even lower levels.
However, it is not the amount of heavy metal, it is how it is affecting/can affect your body & your health. Heavy metals can cause bone, muscle, tendon, organ and nervous system damage. I had pain, weakness in the legs, a host of nervous system & thyroid issues 5 years post-implant. My leg muscles & tissue we damaged to the point the surgeon described it a "gray, lumpy oatmeal." 11 years later I have indentations along the sides of my thighs that never really filled back in.
If someone suggests "chelation therapy" to remove the metal from your blood, please don't believe it – the implant will continue to shed more metal as long as you have it.
So, the question is, what led you to be tested? If you have any symptoms, you need further evaluation, and probably replacement of the implants. My surgeons were able to replace the ball, acetabular cup & liner, but leave the titanium shaft in the femur.
What have the doctors advised so far?
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My name is Jason Kraus. I had a metal on metal hip replacement nine years ago. Was a problem from the start, mostly pain in the joint. Fast forward almost a decade later my issues are dramatically worse, vision, tinnitus, clicking in my throat, dehydration, horrific headaches, brain fog, digestion, it goes on and on. I would love to talk with you as currently I am struggling to find help. I also came back with high iron and ferritin levels a few months ago out of the blue. I need as much information as possible. Please, please, please. Sincerely Jason
Hi @jasonakraus, welcome. You'll notice that I removed your personal email address. Connect is a public forum. We recommend sharing personal contact information using the secure private message function. I might also add that by sharing here in the forum, you are connecting with several people where all can benefit from group support.
Hmm…nine years ago very few metal on metal implants were being used. Do you know which ones you have? Your original surgeon should be able to tell you.
The metals you need to be concerned about are chromium and cobalt. Have you been tested for these?
Thanks for answering. The urine test will be done tomorrow. The type is a Biomet Magnum. It’s definitely metal on metal. It appears ill timing on my part. I unfortunately have all the symptoms as well as others that were unexplainable until now. I was only 43 at the time. The promise of a return to my athletic form lead me to where I am now. I am using NAC currently and it seems to help but I know I need it out. Thoughts on who I can speak with at Mayo? I’ve been able through diet and exercise to stay in okay shape but the insomnia, headaches and at times dizziness make it harder every day.
Okay. Thank you Colleen. I’ll gratefully accept all the help I can get. It’s been a rough time.
Jason,if the test results show high levels of heavy metals, the choice is revision to remove the offending parts which are shedding metal ions into your body. The shedding continues until the revision is done. As far as I know, there is no other effective way to protect your body from the effects of ongoing poisoning . This is not something to be taken lightly – as you have experienced, it can affect your entire body. When I had metal on metal hips for 5 years, it affected my body drastically and it took a year for most of the problems to fade. Some effects linger yet after 11 years.
Jason: Another source of information is: Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Metal on Metal Hip & Tribocorrosion Evaluation & Treatment. Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114. 617 643 7436 http://www.massgeneral.org
Had rev. in 2020. I had almost 2 weeks post op…I was actually happy…started remembering things..All that 2 weeks of feeling glad to be alive!
A few days ago I scooched sideways on the couch…it felt like the metal inside was going to tear thru my skin. I feel like I’m lost in my house…this happened once…(the decision for rev). I woke up, couldn’t walk or relate! I was out of it…in la-la Land…not in a good way obviously.
Seems to be happening again…it started yesterday. I guess I’ll be “checked out” for ….who knows.
In my humble (not certified or a Pro) opinion, I think there was a small “sac” holding the “bad stuff” to keep it from flowing freely thru my body. I think it failed….just like dementia
My 1st implant was a BioMet. Unfortunately, I saw the hip recall on TV. I had no idea what the recall was about, until a fateful morning in 2020 started my research . I thought the recall was for mechanical issues!
Knew nothing about metallosis
Tina – I'm not a doctor either, but pretty sure that's not how our bodies work. The metal, in order to be found in our bloodwork, must be disseminated in the tissue and working its way into the bloodstream. It is then eliminated as bodily waste.
Was your blood retested after revision surgery? That is how to tell if there is any metallosis remaining.
The symptoms you are experiencing now are concerning. If you believe your revised hip is failing (pain or inability to move your leg) please see your ortho.
Otherwise, this sounds quite alarming enough to warrant a call to your primary provider.
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