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A metal-on-metal hip implant is usually made of chromium and cobalt, and consists of an acetabular cup that’s implanted into the hip with a ball joint that connects to the leg. Cobalt poisoning results when the metal components of an implant begin to wear and microscopic metal shards are absorbed into the blood stream and infiltrate the organs. The tissue damage that results from cobalt poisoning can complicate future revision surgeries intended to replace the damaged metal-on-metal hip implant.

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