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Cobalt Poisoning


Cobalt Poisoning from Hip Implants

Cobalt Chrome is used in the manufacture of various hip replacement components. A number of studies have confirmed that cobalt and chromium ion’s are released into the surrounding bone and tissue causing local detrimental effects. However, Cobalt and Chrome ions are toxic to other tissues and body functions.

Review of the available literature suggests that all patients with Metal on Metal (MoM) hip replacements made of cobalt chrome are likely to have elevated to toxic levels of cobalt and chromium ions, whether they are aware of problems localized on the hip or more wide-ranging systemic problems.

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.

A New York Times report published in March 2010, states that metal-on-metal hip implants have been used in about one-third of the approximately 250,000 hip replacements performed annually in the USA. However, many leading orthopedic surgeons have reduced or stopped use of these devices because of concerns that they can cause severe tissue and bone damage.

When they wear, metal particles from these hip implants can infiltrate organs and tissues, and may even create large, painful cysts. The limited studies conducted so far on metal-on-metal hip implants estimate that 1 to 3 percent of implant recipients could be affected by the problem.

That may not sound like a whole lot but that is up to 7,500 people per annum – so you are one of them then that matters a whole lot!!!

An October 2010 article published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery linked metal-on-metal hip implants to cobalt poisoning (see below).

The article described two patients from Alaska who developed the condition after receiving DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implants. Both were “fit, well, forty-nine-year-old men at the time of metal-on-metal arthroplasty with ASR implants,” the article said. Thirty months after surgery, one patient’s blood cobalt level was 122 µg/L, while the second patient’s measured 23 µg/L one year after receiving a metal-on-metal implant. According to the study’s authors, normal serum cobalt level is 0.19 µg/L, and 95 percent of those who are unexposed to cobalt have a value of <0.41 µg/L.

Within one year of the hip implant surgery, both patients experienced symptoms of persistent hip pain and shortness of breath as the microscopic metallic particles from the hip implant were released into the bloodstream and tissues. Two years after the hip implantation, the patients in the study experienced even more symptoms of cobaltism, which can include irritability, fatigue, tinnitus, hearing loss, headaches, loss of coordination, cognitive decline, and depression. After revision surgeries, the patients’ symptoms improved. The authors called for a larger group study to define the prevalence and spectrum of cobalt poisoning due to hip replacement surgery.

Hip replacement patients should be relatively pain-free three months after surgery. Any new pain or increase in pain at that point should be promptly communicated to your surgeon, as it may indicate a complication.

Signs that you may be the victim of a failed metal-on-metal hip implant and cobalt poisoning include:

  •      Metal-on-metal hip implant failed prematurely.
  •      Pain and inflammation in the hip area.
  •      Swelling, Extreme Pain & Discomfort
  •     Dislocation of Implant
  •     Clicking, Popping or Grinding
  •     Loosening of the Implant
  •     Unexplained Hip Pain
  •     Thigh Pain or Groin Pain
  •     Pain with Walking
  •     Pain Rising from a Seated Position
  •     Pain with Weight Bearing
  •     Difficulty walking due to the pain in the hip that has been replaced.
  •     Non-cancerous tumors (cysts) since receiving your metal-on-metal hip implant?

Cobalt Poisoning

Cobalt poisoning is extremely serious.

If it is left untreated, it can result in:

  1. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  2. Vertigo
  3. Deafness
  4. Blindness
  5. Optic nerve atrophy
  6. Convulsions
  7. Headaches
  8. Peripheral neuropathy
  9. Cardiomyopathy
  10. Hypothyroidism
  11. Cognitive problems, including dementia.

Key Website

This is a key website to look up and some of the key points are highlighted below: http://www.cobalt-poisoning.com/

This particular paper highlights the issues in two patients:

Cobalt Toxicity in Two Hip Replacement Patients [click here to download]

Patient A, a fit, otherwise healthy, 49 year-old male received a MoMHA for osteoarthritis. An echocardiogram performed prior to his MoMHA showed normal myocardial function. At 3 months post-op, he complained of bilateral axillary rashes. At 8 months post-op, he reported unaccustomed shortness of breath. Pulmonary function tests and allergy testing for metals were normal. At 18 months post-op, he reported anxiety, headaches, irritability, tinnitus, and hearing loss. An audiogram confirmed high-frequency hearing loss. At 30 months post-op, he reported pain interrupting sleep, hip creaking, hand tremor, diminished coordination, slow cognition, poor memory, and lassitude. At 36 months post-op, a non-refractive loss of peripheral visual acuity was noted; at this time, his SCoL was 122 mcg/L.

The patient was indicated for revision surgery due to progressive hip pain and high SCoLs. An echocardiogram performed prior to the revision showed diastolic dysfunction. The revision was performed 43 months after the first surgery. At revision surgery, the periprosthetic tissues showed necrosis and staining with metal debris and visible wear of the retrieved bearing. At 1 month post-revision, Patient A’s SCoL was 14 mcg/L. At 6 months post-revision, he reported that all symptoms were improved except the visual changes.

Patient B, a fit, otherwise healthy, 49 year-old male received a MoMHA for a failed arthroplasty. At 12 months post-op, he complained of mental fog, memory loss, vertigo, hearing loss, groin pain, rashes, and breathlessness. At this time, his serum cobalt level was 23 mcg/L. At 18 months post-op, an echocardiogram showed diastolic dysfunction. He was observed until 40 months, when revision surgery was performed for progressive hip pain. Just before the revision, Patient B’s SCoL was 23 mcg/L. At revision surgery, the periprosthetic tissues showed necrosis and staining with metal debris and his retrieved bearing showed visible wear. At 2 days post-revision, his SCoL fell to 11 mcg/L. At 3 months post-revision, his symptoms were improved.

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120 thoughts on “Cobalt Poisoning”

  1. As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

    • Hi – feel free to take anything you want! Pleased to help!

    • I had a Birmingham implant on September 14 th 2015 I have pain since my urine levels are 120.37 for chromium and 29.7 for colbalt I have ringing in my ears lights in my eyes memory loss pain and inflammation in my hip from day 1 I have massive migraine what is next oh and shoertnesss of breath and wheezing what should I do is this dangerous

      • Hi Ange,
        that is terrible for such a recent BHR – it really sounds like you need to have it revised – your symptoms are similar to those I had – with the THR version of the BHR. I had it revised 3 years later. It was painful the whole time. I still have the ringing in my ears – and until the operation I never had migraines – but after the operation they started and I still have them today. I can’t see it getting better. Is it life threatening, probably no, but will it make your life a misery, yes. A ceramic on plastic or ceramic on ceramic hip is the best option. However, I am betting that the surgeon that fitted the BHR is in the pocket of S&N and so will not listen to you – you will have to find a specialist revision surgeon who has repaired all the damaged MoM victims. Your surgeon is probably going to treat you like a nut case and refer you to a psychologist.
        We have a group on facebook with over 1200 members with problems like yours – I suggest you look it up and join it as you will find people in your region and they may be able to suggest a surgeon? This is the link http://www.facebook.com/groups/total.hip.news/
        Regards
        Earl

  2. finally, a website, with excellent info, i had a stryker trident hip system installed insept. of 07, shortly. after receiving it, i started experiencing pain from the operation that gradully started gettiny worse, and then i had to go to the emergancy room, for autoimmune hemolytic anemia, which i attribute to the accolade tmzf hip-stem which is on a class 2 recall due to the hydroxylapatite coated, titanium plasma spray, coming off the hip stem. i recently found out my chromiun and cobalt levels are thru the roof,if any body has exsperienced this type of symptoms please respond, im very desperate, they want to put me on chemo, drugs to counter act this although i do not have cancer, i will check back with this site often, bless all you people, helping the sick and weak, my prayers are with you curtis

    • Hi there – you need to get to your surgeon and have the implant removed – that is the only way to get your toxic chromium and cobalt.

      I really suspect that the chemo will do nothing except make you sicker.

      I am having my hip implant replaced 1 September – very painful and elevated cobalt levels.

      Go see your orthopaedic surgeon ASAP!.

      Earl

      • jackie anderson said:

        I have told you all my story on my hip replacement failure and am now recovering from my revision that was done almost 3 weeks ago. seen the doc yesterday and he said they tested my metal levels in the fluid around the replacement during surgery and he gave me the results, they are as follows cobalt 513.9 ug/l and chromium is >1000.0 ug/l can anyone explain how high that is to me? or what it means. Also I have a lawyer who wants me to talk to him about a case, but i was wondering how long is the statue of limitations is on this kind of case. My first surgery was less than 2 years ago and revision was 2 1/2 weeks ago. Any help would be nice. thanks so much!

    • Check out Stuart Talley of Kershaw, Cutter and Talley in Sacremento, he is terrific. Can’t say much because I am part of the recall group. You do not necessarily have to have a HIGH cobalt number to be very sick. Please all of you that have these, get help from a attorney that only does this. Not the local guy that jumps on the band wagon to make a few bucks. A great dr in Denver, CO is Dr Ted Parks of Western Orthopedics. First Dr. To listen to me. Prayers for all going through this.this is serious and even if you are sick now, be careful.

  3. Robert mcknna said:

    68 yr old male – 1st hip resurfacing (Birmingham) done in 2000 failed when blood supply to femoral head failed 3 yrs post op. Revision in 2004 with Metal on metal prosthesis. No symptoms until recently when very mild occasional discomfort in hip developed. Blood tests showed cobalt levels of 120 (6 times higher than upper level of normal) and normal chromium levels. X-rays showed large cysts above acetabular cup. Revision 3 weeks ago with new cup and ceramic insert and ceramic ball. Stem in femur retained. Bone grafts necessary for cysts. All seems to be going well at this stage

    • Hi Robert

      That must be a relief. I had to have a total revision of the THR and two bone grafts. Like you ceramic on ceramic was my choice and I will do the same when my left hip is replaced next year for the first time!

      All the best with your recovery. You will feel so much better if my recovery 7 weeks out is any thing to judge by!

      Earl

      • Robert McKenna said:

        Hello Earl,
        Yes, it is a relief (fingers crossed). My surgeon had assured me that the first revision of my right hip with MoM prosthesis in 2004 would see me through to the end even though longevity runs in the genes (my dad and mum both lived into their nineties). Like you I will need a revision (the 1st) of my left hip (THR in 1997) as the polyethylene insert in the cup is wearing (normally). No problems with the left hip after 14+ years – but x-rays show some osteolysis in the acetabulum above the cup. I have been (and hope to continue to be) a very active person (surfing, walking etc).
        I am annoyed that my surgeon used the MoM in 2004 even though it was not the faulty DePuy product as there was the option of using Ceramic then and the MoM problems of metallosis and osteolysis were well known then. I haven’t had it out with him yet!
        Best wishes
        Robert

      • Hi Robert

        And my surgeon told me my MoM was a new type of stainless steel – the best way to go, when clearly all the MoM problems were well known in 2008…

        Question – how to get four years of pain instead of one? A. Get a surgeon who has no bloody idea….

        I would like to be a fly on the walk when you talk to your surgeon!

        Regards

        Earl

      • Earl,

        I have been told there are no ceramic on ceramic options. Can you tell me what type you have? I want all this metal out. I think I’m allergic to metal and have two Depuy Pinnacles. I have had pain since they were put in. Now I’ve lost hearing etc. I think they just want to switch out the liners (take out the metal liner between ball and socket) but I think the cup and sleeve/stem need to be removed too.

        Thanks!
        Frances

      • Hi Frances
        I have a Zimmer ceramic on ceramic. I don’t know what your surgeon is smoking as they are freely available as far as I know. Ceramic on plastic is a good option too. Lot’s of people have had trouble with the DePuy Pinnacles – lots of law suits. I don’t think it is possible with the Pinnacle to replace the liner but I may be wrong. In my view if you are going to all this trouble then I would get as far away from DePuy as possible. Make sure you get a surgeon who has done lots of revisions – the more the better as they improve each time they do them. Quite a complex operation. Mine was nearly 6 hours. Important to realise that you won’t be totally pain free after the revision – the damage is done and the revision adds more scar tissue. If you have time join our Facebook group – over 1300 members and lots with your sorts of issues – https://www.facebook.com/groups/total.hip.news/
        Cheers,
        Earl

  4. Robert McKenna said:

    Hello again Earl,
    I must confess to reading some of the info in your posts in reverse order – I’ve just now finished reading your whole story. And what a story – hopefully with a happy ending. The posts about dysplasia were very interesting as my surgeon believes that my osteoarthritis had its origins in congenital dysplasia (undiagnosed) and one of my sisters who had confirmed dysplasia is now preparing for her 1st hip op (age 67).
    For me the info about Birmingham Hip Resurfacing was most interesting as I got the impression that the BHR 2 piece prosthesis had the advantage that if a revision was needed the cup in the acetabulum could be retained and used with a polyethylene insert.As I had a BHR in 2000 which failed when avascular necrosis of ther femoral head developed some 2-3 yeras later a revision was required and a metal femoral head was used with the original BHR acetabular cup. This resulted in MoM and not Metal on Plastic as the BHR info seems to recommend.Was this just an experiment by my surgeon (reputedly one of the best in Sydney)? I’m sure I’ll never discover the truth. And maybe I should just be happy that the MoM components causing the cobalt poisoning are now out and all seems to be going well now (4 weeks post op). It seems that the only obvious symptom of cobalt poisoning that I might have had was a body rash on the lower chest. Rashes are reported as one of the possible symptoms of cobalt poisoning.
    Will I have it out with my surgeon? Who knows. I see him in 2 weeks. He certainly knows how to charge! The gap for his fee alone is over $6000 and this is not recoverablre from my private healt fund. I should ask for a loyalty discount! LOL!
    Anyway, I must congratulate you on your posts and site generally. I’m sure many have both been reassured and better informed as a result of the info you have presented.
    Best wishes
    Robert

    • Hi Robert

      I didn’t realise you were a fellow Aussie!

      Yes – dysplasia is very interesting & explained a lot for me!

      Interesting with our surgeons that we didn’t get presented with the facts in a sensible fashion before they did the original operations.

      Fancy mine telling me it was stainless steel – what a dork!

      It is coming up 8 weeks for me and I see my surgeon again next week too – and should start physio as the 2 bone grafts should be OK now.

      I am happy the MoM is out – I feel so much better!

      It just goes to show that the doctors are just super technicians, something they didn’t like to hear when I was teaching at uni years ago (vets in this case).

      I just posted up a NY Times article – seems one group has thrown out resurfacing totally – when really it is more a metal on metal issue I feel!

      Have a great weekend.

      Earl

  5. robert mckenna said:

    Hi again Earl,
    I believe it is early days yet in the Cobalt Poisoning Story. The faulty DePuy product only serves to distract and confuse as it was a clear case of faulty design but there are many other MoM prostheses that are likely to cause Cobalt problems in the future in many cases quite a few years post op. I am an engineer (civil/structural) and a lawyer (but never practised as such) and this maybe explains why I feel there should be someone I should be able to sue (and waste a lot more money in the process!
    I note that my surgeon now recommends against hip resurfacings which necessarily require MoM prostheses.
    I had my first dip in the saltwater pool at Bronte this morning – a great relief to be getting back to doing normal things. I will continue my hydrotherapy now under my own supervision at this venue.
    I hope your recovery continues to go well.
    Robert

  6. I have 2 depuy MoM hips. The left leg has femoral nerve damage that occurred several months after the surgery. My Doctor said that he did nothing that would cause the damage. I have suffered for many years from leg weakness, numbness, swelling in hip area, and pain and many more symptoms. My natal levels are only slightly elevated. My brother had a ceramic hip back in the mid 1990’s and he has no problems.My question is would you have the hips removed even if levels aren’t extremely elevated?

    • Hi Gary

      I had femoral nerve damage with my revision last year too. It is reasonably common even if the surgeons don’t know that. Maybe they don’t read as widely as I do?

      It sounds like the DePuy MoM’s are affecting your health, despite the lower levels of ions. But there may be lots of other complicating factors.

      The weight of evidence is that the DePuy ASR’s are a ticking time bomb and you will need to have them replaced at some stage. They were recalled for a reason and the longer they are in you the greater the risk of real damage. But you need to get some other medical opinions from those who are dealing with DePuy revisions on a regular basis.

      I personally see no good coming from metal on metal but you need to get a good surgeon who you trust and work through it with him.

      Earl

  7. jratzow@tds.net said:

    Hello Everyone,
    I too have suffered with a MoM DePuy hip installed May of 2006. The surgeon told me this hip was made out of stainless steel and would last the rest of my life. I was 55. After one year, my hip started to “clunk”. the surgeon said just to “slow down”. When the re-call hit the papers, I made an appointment , had a blood test and told everything was fine. When my primary DR. looked into the blood levels, they were 5.5.
    I started looking for a new surgeon. this was now Oct.. By January of 2011, my levels jumped to 18. I had the revision surgury Feb. 2011. The new surgeon also had to remove some dead grey tissue in the abductor muscle. All was fine until July of that same year when the abductor muscle tore away from the trocantor bone. Tried different treatments of pain relief but ended up having abductor repair and a bursectomy in Jan. of 2012. Had total pain in groin, I-T ban, and sitz bone after surgery. Five weeks after the repair, the muscle ripped again. My surgeon has given up on me and told me to try to live with it. I have been up to the Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN and they cannot help me either. The muscle apparently is too damaged. I live with hip pain every day and walking is an effort.
    Any ideas out there?
    Jenny

    • Stem cell treatment? Look at http://www.cellmedicine.com
      San Diego

    • Jenny write a letter to the CEO of the FDA and tell them what an asshole he is for allowing the device manufacturers to use the FDA 510-K ruling to allow these products (JUNK) to be placed in people’s bodies with absolutely no testing, in actual fact Jenny we are the ( RAT’S) that should have been used for testing these products’I know how frustrated you are I am the same way I envisioned my playing golf with my friends I was plus 5 handicap , I also worked out at the YMCA 3 times a week I achieved championship level in Handball competition all of this has been taken away and money from the pain that you and I are living with is the profits going to a $311, 000.000 million dollar payoffs to the FDA to call off the investigation for unethical business practices by the device manufacturers and doctors and hospitals administrators were engaged in. Can you believe what is going on in our country?

  8. I had two hip replacements in 2009 using the Pinnacle system by DePuy.
    In July of 2012 I had a blood test done and I was found to have high levels of chromium and cobalt.
    I had been experiencing symptoms of dizziness-headaches-diahrrea- weakness – loss of appetite – and a 15 pound weight loss.
    I didn’t know what course of action to take and felt quite lost. I had my surgery done in India so I couldn’t go back to my surgeon…….
    I ended up being shuffeled from orthopedic surgeon to orthopedic surgeon— until I found a really good one who would do the revision surgery. I have to wait three months tho because he is so busy.
    Meanwhile I had chelation therapy to draw the heavy metals out of my system.(with an IV) That did alleviate a lot of the symptoms- thank goodness.
    My revision surgeries are scheduled for Feb. and March- 2012.
    This has been a nightmare.
    My original surgeon assured my my MoM hips were made by Johnson and Johnson and were the best money could buy. The ironic thing is he did a fabulous job – and mechanically my hips are perfect.
    I am just so worried about the long term effects of chromium and cobalt poisoning…..I cant have that revision surgery fast enough!
    If anyone has advice – I would really appreciate any feedback.
    Nan in Florida

    • Hi Nan

      these companies have a lot to answer for.

      Seems like you are doing all you can do. The chelation therapy makes very good sense.

      A lot of us are worried about the long term impact but the short-term seems to be the most obvious worry at present. Mid-term many are still battling with pseudo tumors and tissue damage which seems to be more of an issue than anything else.

      All of us have tinnitus – my ears ring like a swarm of locusts.

      Lets hope that it all goes smoothly for you in the New Year.

      All the best,

      Earl

    • r. spivey said:

      Am going through this myself
      There is an oral chelation being used in china using cillantro based in vodka
      Also using herbs that help keep white blood and red cells normal
      Like nopal. ..noani..and flora essence. Can help

      • The vodka sounds like the best part of it!

      • Since my revision surgery (removing the Stryker ABGII) my chromium level has been cut in half. Additionally, my neighbor, who is an acupuncturist, has put me on Life Enhancement (brand)EDTA Chelator Complex capsules and a Thorne (brand) Heavy Metal Support (also capsules.) I will know their effect at my next chromium blood draw.
        I continue to have groin pain and know it is more of a problem than my surgeon thinks it is. I get the feeling he has done his part and the rest of it should be left up to my primary care doctor. He did send me for a shot which did not last.

      • Hi Cynthia

        it does take quite a while to recover from a revision unfortunately and the muscle has been hacked around so it will hurt.

        It should get better.

        Earl

      • EVERYONE, CHECK YOUR D-3 levels and keep your immune system in check. Dr. Oz and many other suggest D-3 levels about 50
        30 not ok but go to a homeopathic dr

    • Nan, Could you please tell me more about your chelation treatments–who performs them for you, what they consist of (what is used to remove the toxins in your body via IV), do you know if your bone density has been compromised as a result. Anything at all that you can tell me would be appreciated.

    • I’ve had revision surgery eight weeks ago from a De Puy BHR that was implanted nearly ten years ago bloods were always fine though I had pain since 2011 and the original surgeon always said all was Ok!! however after a second opinion on the hip I had it removed! and there was found a pseudotumour with metal in it so a form of metallosis which explained why I had been having what I.called ” funny turns” since about 2011 put down to stress!!! dizziness weakness nausea ear pressure and glands in my neck up would send me in the state of collapse literally out of the blue .. after bed rest for between 6 hours and even 2 days it would clear and I would be back to normal? until the next time which meant I could never trust my health since the revision I had a bad turn of it in a Hospital but has continued to still come back weekly and seems to be getting worse in a way the Doc says if it is metallosis then it will go? I don’t believe her … here I am again in bed feeling dreadful this is not fair on anyone has anyone any ideas if chelation therapy is the right way forward please

      • Sounds like netallosis and yes it should go away. I don’t think chelation will achieve anything. With the metal hip removed the source is gone and your body should expel modtcit naturally over time.

  9. Feb and March 2013 – that is…

  10. r. spivey said:

    Am going through many of the effects of cobalt/chromium poisoning from a zimmer hip replacement..cysts in leg..pain in groin and lower back..tingling in limbs..muscle cramps from hell..fuzzy in memory at times..numbness in left side of face and now pain in hands..shoulders and forearms like ive been in the gym all day working out..as well as a noticeable loss of muscle tone…dietary habbits have been changed over and over to accomodate the constant changes in my body..headaches are knee buckling…some dizziness which a coe worker expressed my pupils get extremeley lsrge and one eye gets a spot of a cloudiness
    Ive noticed its affecting my kidneys to a degree i experience when using the bathroom a strange tingling feeling..i have had teeth dissolve in my mouth like powder when brushing my teeth..my arms feel as though the ligaments or tendons are coming off the bone if thats possible..
    But i will overcome this

  11. All these complaints are real….one week out of hip revision….what a Godsend.

    • Marion Ryder said:

      I had a really nasty fall on ice while on holiday in France recently, December 2012. Unfortunately, I fell backwards and landed on my back and damaged my right hip which has a MoM replacement made by Biomet. It is now seven weeks later and although I can now walk without crutches my right hip is still painful. However, the worst for me was discovering I had cobalt and Chromium poisoning: 11.5 for cobalt and 17.9 for chromium. The original surgeon has given me the choice of waiting another 3 months to re-do the blood test and then to decide whether to have a replacement op. or live with the poisoning. I had the original op in 2005 so maybe I’ve had these ions for all this time or maybe the fall has made them occur in my bloodstream. As my GP put it, ‘you’re in between a rock and a hard place’! Does anyone have any information about chelation to rid the body of these toxins or am I clutching at straws? I am female and 70 yrs old.

  12. nan cogle said:

    Well- I have had one hip revision surgery and am having the second one in five days. The surgeon found extra fluid in the joint and metal staining. He said it is a good thing I am having these MOM implants out. He just changed the articulating surfaces with ceramic and polyetheline.
    My recovery has gone quite easily. I would encourage anyone with metal poisoning to bite the bullet and get those MOM hips OUT.
    This was the only solution for me and I am glad to be taking action.
    My heart goes out to all people in this difficult situation.
    Nan

  13. THANK YOU Earl !
    Many thanks from Poland.
    I got MoM endoprotesis in January 2012 (BMHR Smith &Nephew hip). After the surgary I had pain in hip region and I had many others, strange health problems eg. tachycardia, arythmia, tinnitus, asthma, irritability, fatigue, pruritus-skin itch, hearing problems,pain in other joints, headaches and depression.
    I went to reumatologist, I asked my surgeon – nothing seems wrong.
    Thank this site – I read many stories like mine. I checked my Cobalt level -it`s 35x over the norm.
    Today I spoke with my surgeon about my result and he said ” if I have cobaltosis I will be the first person in Europe with this hip” HARD TO BELIVE.
    I don`t know what next …..at least I know what wrong with me.
    Poor other patients that will not know what wrong with them for long time.
    I`m trying to find the way to warn them. Surgeons seems not interesting in it…..
    Blog like Earls would be the way. Thanks again ! sorry for poor english.
    Best wishes for all around the world

    Peter from Poland

    • Hi Peter

      your surgeon is not very smart. He does not know what he is talking about!

      Don’t let them put you off – you will need it removed sooner rather than later!

      Earl

      • Hi Earl,

        Thanks for fast answer.
        My surgeon seems to be smart, one of few best specialist in Poland in endoprosthesis area.
        So……..he don`t want to see the problem…….I may know the reason….
        I`ll check my cobalt level again and chrom.
        I don`t wont any surgary again.
        Piotr

      • Yes. Unfortunately some surgeons have income from the big orthopaedic companies. Maybe he has a little conflict of interest?

      • MARS MRI usually required also

      • Or your surgeon is being paid tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands per year by the maker of a MoM hip… (paid, as a “consultant”) and as a result is dedicated and loyal to the device company and protecting IT, not YOU.

  14. Im not sure how I found this site, but you have my attention Earl. Im 1yr and 6ms post, The left hip Rejuvenate surgery went like text book. 6 ms post is when all my problems started. Pain while walking,burning in the Femur while sitting, cramps non-stop, muscles spasms, headachs, even today,hands, legs are cramping. My levels are nowhere near your other followers. I feel like theres a 1/2 cut grapefruit, Hanging on my left rear pants pocket. They say theres nothing to be done until my cobalt level is at 10ug/1 or I have markers in the blood of very low white count, or any thing very bad. Any advice Dean.

    • Hi Dean

      The hip has been recalled in the USA because of these problems. Why would your surgeon wait until you have full blown damage when there is an established problem.

      Suggestion is to find a smarter surgeon? Contact Stryker?

      Earl

    • Ps 12.30 am here in Australia so I am off to zzzz. Will check in the morning.

      Earl

      • Hi again
        I just got back from my surgeon. He don`t belive in cobaltosis at all,
        also in my case. I should have in hand all opinion (neurologist,
        pulmonologist, ophtalm. cardiologist etc) than he will consider cobaltosis
        in my case.
        He told me that only Royal Laboratorium in Stockholm is good enough to
        check Co level. In UK the levels between laboratories are different,
        I wouldn`t belive I have cobaltosis if my level are 5 or 10 mcg/l , but
        3500 % obove the norm is quite noticable, but “even Dereck McMinns
        check Co level in Sweden”.
        Also Chief ( also ortopadician) of the hospital don`t belive in cobaltosis-
        he asked me “is there any norm of Co level?”
        They both attended to many international meetings around the world, so I
        can`t understand the ignorance. hard to belive in it.
        I could get USG, but the surgeon told me that I need termin and referral.

        If not the number of ailment and Co level is noteworthy to consider
        cobaltosis, what should it be? Something is wrong, this is not only ignorance.
        Or am I geting paranoic?

        Peter

    • Levels do not have to be high to kill your bones and muscles

      • You do need to go to a place that has the tubes etc to do this specialized test. Get tested every three months

  15. I am a 59 year old American male who has always taken pretty good care of myself. I did develop osteoarthritis and it destroyed my left hip. I had a Stryker Rejuvinate installed in early December 2010. Almost 4 weeks later I was in the Emergency Room with 25 blood clots around my lungs, my heart distended out to one side and the doctors shaking their heads. A savvy doctor decided to have my blood checked for Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome or Lupus Anticoagulant. I tested positive and then tested positive twice more weeks and months later. I was told that it is permanent in my case and that I will be on Coumadin the rest of my life.

    I have had pain in the hip ever since the implant but all x-rays looked good. The surgeon did an amazing job, as I was fully aligned and the stem appears well rooted in my femur.

    About a year ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Now I take Synthroid for this everyday. My blood testing is now up to 16 to 30 times per year for the rest of my life because of the clotting disorder and thyroid problem.

    A couple of years ago I noticed my hands were shaking more. In the last 6 months they have gotten so bad that I can no longer write more than a few words at a time. After a sentence or two what I write can’t be read. It looks more like a 2 year old trying to imitate writing. I used to type 80 or so words per minute, with no errors. Now I am down to 30 or 40, with errors.

    I have some ringing in my ears, sometimes short of breath, but not always, but fatigue has been the biggest thief. Since the hip replacement I just run out of energy after about 10 hours. If I didn’t have to get up for work, I could sleep 10 to 12 hours per day, but part of that is because pain wakes me several times every night.

    After the Stryker recall my surgeon did more x-rays, but nothing showed up. I got a second surgeon to check me, but nothing. About a month ago my surgeon decided to run blood tests and found my cobalt was over 8, or in the toxic range. Now, what has been happening to my body makes more sense. He immediately called for an MRI. The MRI showed fluid accumulation around my hip. He advised me to have the revision surgery ASAP. I am having it April 22.

    Stryker has agreed to pay for the revision surgery. My attorneys told me to be very careful with what I say to them and the company that is handling my claims.

    Due to the fact that my femur looks very attached to the stem, my surgeon is expecting to have to cut my femur into several pieces to get the stem out. Then he will put bands around the pieces to hold them together and possibly some cadaver bone to fuse it all back together. It will be 10 to 12 weeks before I will be able to put any weight on my leg.

    I also have brain fogs several times a day. The other day it took me 10 minutes to remember/find the name of my CEO, whom I have known for over a year and have used his name many times a day almost every day. (just one example)

    Has anyone here ever developed Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, APS or Lupus Anticoagulant from cobalt poisoning? It is an autoimmune disease and from what I have found, metal poisoning can trigger pretty much any and all autoimmune diseases. It all depends on the person.

    My best wishes and prayers to all of you. I pray we all end up okay.

    Mike

    • Mike,
      I had the Styker ABG II hip installed in 10/10 and have had lots of problems. Towards the end of 2012 I had the who devise removed. Less than a year later I developed a blood clot in my groin. Testing after this showed that I did have Lupus APS. For the past six months all my joints have been killing me. I believe that the original hip implant has something to do with me getting APS. Have you had any doctor agree that it could have caused your Lupus APS?

      • Alex,
        Sorry to hear that you are having these problems. Lupus Anticoagulant or Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome. According to the research dating back to the 1980’s, cobalt can, for sensitive individuals, cause or trigger autoimmune diseases. The research that I have studied doesn’t specify, but I have had doctors tell me that they believe that both the APS and the Relapsing Polychondritis can be triggered by metal poisoning. I had 90 percent blockage of two coronary arteries and 60 percent blockage of a third coronary artery. I had to have bypass surgery immediately. The deposits were all calcium and my Cardiologist did comment that the APS could have caused the blockages. I did some research on this and did find a case study of a 28 year old that had Relapsing Polychondritis who suffered from sudden blockage of his coronary arteries and had to have bypass surgery. I have spoken with others that have APS that have joint pain, but it seems that most of the people, including myself have other autoimmune diseases. My list just keeps growing; APS, Relapsing Polychondritis, Raynaud’s Syndrom, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Urticaria, possibly Lupus and a few other related issues.

        The problem with revision surgery is that it usually causes a spike in the cobalt/chromium levels. The spike could be the trigger for your APS, but finding a doctor that will admit that; well, good luck. All the comments that I have from doctors about any of this stuff being related to the defective hips were made, “off the record” and never entered into records. Speaking to others, this seems to be the norm with doctors. They just won’t speak out against the joint makers. Perhaps it also has something to do with legal stuff and they don’t want to get sucked into the legal processes. In a way I don’t blame them, but in a way I also condemn them for their attitude.

        I am not a doctor and can not render a medical opinion about the relationship between your development of an autoimmune disease following joint replacement. There is, however, a large and growing, amount of information linking the two all over the web. If you haven’t had a cobalt/chromium blood test, you should have one immediately. If either or both metals show up above the toxic or normal level, then that would be a clue for you. It’s been more than two years since my revision surgery and my cobalt is still well above normal and even fluctuates. Don’t think that you are going to develop all the junk that I have. We are all different and react to things differently, so there is no reason to believe that you, or anyone would travel the same path that I have with this stuff. I am also allergic to steroids, the primary drug used to treat this stuff, except the APS. If your doctor hasn’t put you on Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine), I would ask him to consider it. In Europe and a few other countries it is seen as being as effective treatment for APS. I was able to convince the surgeons to keep me on it for both my revision surgery and my bypass surgery.

        All the best to you and I hope I have been helpful to you.

        Mike

    • Make sure your immune system is great. D -3 level is critical. You want around 50 per most specialists. Primary folks didn’t seem to be up on this unless they know homeopathic treatment

      • Doctors won’t bash the device companies because some of them are on payroll as “consultants.” Money helps to develop allegiance. It’s a sick, sick world, people… I’m learning this the hard way.

  16. Melinda Bell said:

    I just found out I have the stryker recall hip that was put in 2012 I new nothing of the matter until I took action and payed a visit to my Doctor, the pain never went away and physical therapy made it hurt more three months after the surgery I noticed some of my teeth were moving inward and pushing my front tooth outward it has gotten worse , my levels are at 6.5 and was just wondering if anyone else has had this problem with their teeth due to high levels
    ?

    • Melinda,

      Mike here. Sorry you are having this problem. Do you know whether or not your Stryker is one of the recalled models. My replacement or revision hip is a Stryker just like the first one except that the metal is all titanium, the ball is ceramic and the socket is plastic.

      If your cobalt is 6.5, that is 1.5 above the toxic level and 6.4 higher than it should be. If you haven’t had an MRI of your hip, you should push for one and also push for a revision if it is one of the recalled hips that you currently have, regardless of what is going on with your teeth.

      Hope you find a good and final resolution to your problem.

    • Melinda I have all and more of the problems you are experiencing My THA was done Dec.11-2009 You will find that when you go for an Xray the doctor will say everything looks OK, ask him to take an xray of the pain your experiencing most of the time they will ask on a scale of 1 to 10 -10 being the most pain what is your pain level Surely medicine has come further than a guess from you or me? Over to the teeth problem I am 82 yrs. old in my life time I have never owed a dentist any money now I am on the hook for $1,500.00 it is difficult. I am reluctant to brush my teeth now as they fall apart. Melinda the side effects of COCR are enormous the lists are really scary I wish you luck my dear try to educate yourself on the web Thank god for GOOGLE. Goodluck. Ken

      • jim.1930@yahoo.com said:

        Earl, I didn’t see where Ken Henshaw is from but I’m assuming since he has a Stryker he livessomewhere in the US. I have a Stryker also in 2012. I’m in Alabama & wanted to know if Ken is possiblyfrom my area. It’s okay to give him my email address. Thank you, Ms Stansell From: Earl’s View To: jim.1930@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, June 29, 2015 5:25 PM Subject: [New comment] Cobalt Poisoning #yiv9657436337 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9657436337 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9657436337 a.yiv9657436337primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9657436337 a.yiv9657436337primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9657436337 a.yiv9657436337primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9657436337 a.yiv9657436337primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9657436337 WordPress.com Ken Henshaw commented: “Melinda I have all and more of the problems you are experiencing My THA was done Dec.11-2009 You will find that when you go for an Xray the doctor will say everything looks OK, ask him to take an xray of the pain your experiencing most of the time they w” | |

      • X-rays do not show cobalt issues and you need a MARS MRI AND BLOOD WORK FOR THE METAL

  17. Melinda Bell said:

    Mike TY I will do this ASAP 😉 My doctor wants to wait until Oct of this year to do another blood test what do you think of this? I did have an MRI and according to them I don’t have metalous however like you said its is elevated and they say this isn’t that high and that some of the other patients are at ,12 and there watching them ha-ha I think that nuts! I did ask you if you new of or heard of anyone’s teeth shifting from high levels? 3 months after it was put in my front tooth has moved very fast and to get braces are expensive, if its possibly the cobalt chromium I could have them cover this procedure as well but I would need some proof. TY again for all your help 😉

    • Melinda,
      Typically the cobalt level has to be 8 or above before the Doctors will replace the implant unless there are other indicators that the lower level is definitely having an impact on you.

      As I said; I haven’t heard of anyone with a shift of their teeth. If I were you, I would, if you haven’t already, have a consult with an oral surgeon or an orthodontist about the teeth.

      As far as the hip, if you had the MRI and there are no indications of fluid build up, then waiting 3 months for another test isn’t unreasonable at all. Having had a level of 9, and I am only guessing, as no blood tests were done until a few weeks before the replacement, my permanent damages didn’t start right away, except for the Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (Lupus Anticoagulant), which set in less than a month after the implant, followed by an escalation of Relapsing Polychondridtis after the revision surgery.

      By waiting, at least you will know if your blood cobalt level has been high the entire time or if it has been at a constant level. I had one of the best surgeons in the US and this was the approach that he described to me before we found out how high my level was. He stated that if the level is below 8 and stable, or variable, staying below 8, and no other known issues were indicated, that he would do 3 month interval testing to get a sense of what is going on. It’s not an unorthodox thing that your surgeon is asking you to do, based on my conversations with my doctors and the research that I have done on the subject.

      My research into the lawsuits filed against Stryker, thus far, indicate that some people have filed suits and gotten revision surgery with levels as low as 5. It would be hard to find a surgeon in the US that would do a revision with a cobalt level below 5, but some will.

      I believe that we, the world, are just beginning to learn the impact of cobalt/chromium implants on the human body. I have found cautionary, even warning level, research from back in the 1980’s that state that these metals should not be placed in the human body because of possible interaction with our biological system.

      Fact is, some of us are much more sensitive to cobalt or chromium than others. For me it instantly triggered autoimmune diseases and other issues. Others have had levels higher than mine and had virtually no know issues. As long as you are getting the blood tests and possibly an annual MRI, if I were in your situation, I would go for the orthodontist or oral surgeon examination and do as your surgeon has suggested with the 3 month test. As I said; at least you will know and you will be able to use the test results in your lawsuit, which I assume you have already filed or will be filing if you have one of the recalled hips. If you are in the U.S., I can highly recommend a reputable firm to represent you that has had success in many important national cases and has even represented U.S. Government agencies. I don’t know if I am allowed to state their name on this post or not. Perhaps Earl will let you know if you want to ask him.

      I hope this helps; but please understand, I am an engineer, not a physician, though I did work in the Paramedic program for 4 years and do a lot of research into my own issues, so take what I say with that in mind.

      All the best to you!

      Mike

      • Elizabeth Green said:

        Can you please email me the law firm information. I need help. I’ve never been off a walker or now in an electric wheelchair since surgery in 2007.
        Pain is unbelievable even with oxycodone and muscle relaxers 4 times a day. Thanks

      • Hi Elizabeth

        Sorry to hear about your issues.

        Unfortunately I do not recommend legal firms but I have listed a number on the earlsview.com blog.

        Regards

        Earl

      • 8 can be high for some. It speak from experience

  18. Bonnie Mackenzie said:

    Do you have any info on ceramic on metal issues. I had a Stryker Trident accolade TMZF with a Biolox delta Ceramic femoral head implanted 7/24/2010. After 7 months of feeling horrible, they removed it, put in a spacer 2/26/2011, then went to another hospital where they implanted a ceramic on ceramic hip in June 2011. Over the course of the spacer in 2/26/2011, I was on IV Vancomycin for 6 months. Since then my CRP goes up and down, feel horrible, sleep issues, pain constant, memory issues, 0 energy, slow cognition, and just feel lousy. I feel the original hip put something in my system that is still lingering.
    Any thoughts?
    Bonnie

  19. Bonnie,
    I have a ceramic on plastic head and socket. The problem is that the ceramic head was on metal structure that was made with a cobalt/chromium alloy. If your original acetabular head was mounted on a cobalt/chromium alloy, it could have triggered any number of autoimmune responses. The more I have studied about the body’s reaction to cobalt, chromium, mercury, lead and other toxic metals, the more cases of metal reaction I have seen. Triggering of an autoimmune issue is very common and was warned about in some very old studies in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Since then, the evidence demands a verdict from the entire medical community to stop the practice of placing those metals in humans. Some of us are very sensitive to them and some are not.

    I read of one man who had a cobalt/chromium stent placed in a major blood vessel and within hours, started developing blood clots. After testing the man, the doctors finally realized that his body was reacting to the metal and was that the stent was the cause of the clots.

    You may have developed any number of autoimmune issues, many of which are very difficult to diagnose, and that may be one of your issues. Since they had you on Vancomycin IV for 6 months, you obviously picked up a very severe infection. The only infections that I am familiar with, because of experience with a family member and a several close friends, is MRSA. (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

    I know that fatigue follows for a while after the MRSA is under control, as the treatment with strong antibiotics takes its toll on the body as well. I can only guess that they used the spacer as a temporary device to hold your leg length in position until the infection was under control so that they could perform the actual replacement. Since your infection was a while back, it is possible that, like me, you had Mettalosis long enough to do some permanent damage. I have been told that my neurological damage (brain fog, memory issues, loss of the ability to write with a pen or pencil, tinnitus) are all permanent. Some may improve a little over time, but long term exposure to toxic metals, from all I have read, results in permanent damage.

    Even short term to higher levels of cobalt and/or chromium is well documented to trigger autoimmune issues in sensitive individuals. You need a good Rheumatologist, if you don’t already have one. An ESR along with the CRP may help define what problems you have. CRP alone can be an indicator of Rheumatoid diseases, inflammatory issues, bacterial or infection issues.

    As I stated earlier; I am not a doctor, so take what I say as only the result of my research into my own issues and I am not qualified to make diagnoses, but can only share what has happened to me, around me and from study. Also, I might add that I still have sleep issues and even with the new titanium acetabular head, I have pain in that hip six months after the replacement; something I have been told that may be permanent.

    I hope that this response is useful to you and that you get some relief soon. I know how miserable all this can be and how much impact it can have on one’s life. Since my last writing here, I have been placed on long term disability and haven’t been able to work since August 9th, 2013.

    All the best to you!

    Mike

  20. Hi I live in Australia and had a Birmingham cup in 2007 that initially functioned well. After the recall I had my levels checked and although elevated they were not outstanding compared with others. Since then I have had bursitis and am now having constant clicking of the hip[ every time I move up or down. I have had tinnitus almost constantly for the last six months with intermittent bouts of vertigo. I had three orthopaedic surgeons, experts in this field check out my hip implant and all said after x rays and mri it is working well so keep it in there as long as you can. One said that I had a 1 in 100 chance of my life being over as I know it if I have a revision and it goes wrong. My levels have been stable for the last few years at 162 nmoL/L for plasma cobalt and 303nmoL/l for plasma chromium. My GP is of the same mindset to leave well alone until too painful. I have pain at the site when sitting and walking but it is definitely bearable and not constant. I am extremely active but have had reduced capability when walking and hiking and slight pain when swimming. I also have had the most appalling and constant itchiness around the outer anal region that I treated with cortisone which did not alleviate the symptoms and I read that continued use only made the skin thinner, which I confirmed with a GP. One doctor also had me take a worm treatment but nothing has helped. In addition I was prescribed Vagifem which has also not reduced the constant itch. II consulted a scientific doctor who discovered strong food intolerances for egg, dairy and wheat and a number of moderate sensitivities to other foods such as almonds, soy etc. He thought it unlikely that they would be causing the anal irritation. So, now I am wondering what to do next. Constant tinnitus and an excruciating itch and a thigh muscle which is not working as well as it should and intermittent pain but not so bad. I am thinking chelation next to see if it takes away the tinnitus and itch, but I noted Earl’s post saying that he still had tinnitus even after a revision. Unsure what to do now. Fik

    • Hi Fi

      sounds like the problems I had – my levels we above normal but never as high as the DePuy victims – but same problems like you.

      Will get Dr Steve to comment.

      Earl

  21. Karen Smith said:

    Does anyone know what to do if you are in Spain.
    I was told two days ago I have to have my MoM hip replacement removed and now face a double replacement.

    Help

  22. Virginia Hiett said:

    This is for Melinda Bell,

    After I had MoM hip replacement, the inside of my mouth became extremely sore, like it was constantly scalded, and my teeth began to move. Now, after a hip revision a year ago, my mouth is still sore and my teeth are all jammed together at the front of my mouth. Other symptoms; insomnia, brain fog, thyroid problems, bad digestion, muscle pain (especially the large thigh muscles), eyesight changes, depression, are still with me. My cobalt and chromium levels are almost back to normal, but the damage done to my innards persists. I wonder how long this goes on.

    Virginia in Arkansas

  23. Mike Surdo said:

    Wow…there are so many of us. I was 53 when I had bilateral hip resurfacing. ( 2012 ) Smith and Nephew BHR. I was told this was the best option for a young active patient. That could not be further from the truth. Seems the more active you are the more metal debris is being released into the joint and bloodstream. I suffered from all the symptoms that are being named by everyone else. I knew I had a problem about ten months post surgery. I had revision surgery on my right hip May 22nd 2014 and am having revision surgery for my left hip Sept. 2nd 2014. Lots of out of pocket expenses, Lots of lost time at work. My right leg is 3/4 of an inch shorter than my left, hopefully that can be corrected during the second revision. FDA gave a PMA on this device and the Supreme Court ruled that Smith and Nephew cant be held accountable because of it. What a joke. I have a job that requires me to do physical work. If it turns out I cant perform my job and have to go out on disability then the american people will be picking up the tab for me in an already strained disability system. How could our own government allow this to happen. Smith and Nephew had over 4 Billion dollars in revenue last year. Their device is causing catastrophic problems for many people who have had this device implanted into them and our Government has given them a free pass. Sounds like corruption to me. We should band together and make noise about this, there is strength in numbers.

    • Susan Goodman said:

      I too was given a M-o-M hip in 2006 & was told it should last me 30 years. After finding out by pure chance that my levels of cobalt & chromium were extremely high I am now 7 weeks post revision surgery. We need publicity in order to alert others that are unaware they are being damaged by their metal hip replacements and also compensation from the manufacturers.

      • Do not use social media to discuss particulars. God hurt your case and they WILL use it against you.

  24. I have a Pinnacle metal/metal implant, and I was in for routine X-rays when my surgeon suggested I have a joint fluid draw to check on the joint. My fluid came out black, and I now have high levels of cobalt and chromium in my bloodstream. Frankly, I am terrified about the long-term effects, even though I am having revision surgery in October. I simply cannot believe that these hips were allowed on the market and that thousands of us now have to worry about our health.

  25. earl plyler said:

    my colalt is 26, ,chroumium 34 one doctor said take it out the other form naples said not to it is mag. biomed ,I have no pain or and other promblems levels been that way for 3 years

  26. Hi everyone, I am a 48 year old woman, I had a BHR 5 years ago this coming November. I have been having very weird symptoms over the last few years. Body aches and pains, extreme tenderness in my legs, not all the time, ringing in my ears, rashes in the groin. Have been seeing my GP who has sent for me for lots of tests. As a final ruling out test he did my chromium and cobalt levels. Chromium was 50 and Cobalt was 23. I also tested positive for ANCA (IIF) -Atypical.
    I have a feeling that this is related to the levels of chromium and Cobalt. I have pain in my hip but not all the time, if moved in a certain way it is a sharp pain.
    Any suggestions on what I should do?
    Cheers
    Sharon

    • Hi Sharon,

      it needs to be replaced – those are all the usual Metal on metal symptoms and your health will get worse the longer you leave it.

      You can join the Facebook group I set up – you will find lots of others there to advise https://www.facebook.com/groups/160186734049090/

      Earl

      • Thanks Earl,
        I have joined the facebook group. I will have a read and see if I can find some answers on there! Seeing my new orthopaedic surgeon tomorrow 🙂

      • Please be careful if you are having revision surgery and lawsuits. Social media not a good idea but a really needed comfort idea. Be careful. Eat
        Is right, but, you will be asked if you talked

    • Sharon,

      I am sorry that you are going through all this. I too had to have revision surgery after suffering many different issues and high cobalt levels. Dr. Jeffrey Davis with Andrews Sports Medicine performed both my original implant and the revision. He is a very, very good surgeon and should be very honest with you. I would be surprised if he wasn’t; but you can count on his expertise in performing the revision surgery and maintaining the explant materials for your attorney, if you are going that route.

      I wish you all the best for a great outcome and a full recovery.

      Mike

  27. Stephen Carlson said:

    I have an stryker accolade tmzf plus #4 hip replacement. I did not a list with barcode of each when d/c from hosp or rehab

    • Marion Ryder said:

      I had a mag. biomed hip replacement in 2005 while I was still teaching. I went back to work and was none the wiser about the problems of M o M replacements for eight years!! It was only after a really bad fall on ice – after which I couldn’t walk – that I discovered I had cobalt and chromium problems. I returned to the surgeon who performed the op. to seek his help with the injury. When he took a blood sample I was baffled but he then explained to me that many people had high levels of cobalt and chromium. Ever the optimist, I said to him that I probably wasn’t affected too badly. The following week, I found out that my cobalt and chromium levels were very high. This surgeon advised me to have regular blood tests and live with the cobalt rather than risk another op. Since moving away from London, I have seen a new surgeon who is advising a revision asap. He tells me that the original surgeon put the large MoM in at the wrong angle. Could this possibly be the reason the first surgeon didn’t want me to have a revision, in case this was found out?
      Anyway, I am off to see the new surgeon tomorrow prior to being admitted for revision surgery. I am so pleased to read of so many people on this site who have had the revision done successfully. I have had no real outward symptoms as a result of the cobalt. However, in the last eighteen months the vision in my left eye has deteriorated. It was excellent previously. I have found out that I have had a crossed vein occlusion behind the left eye and that fluid is building up. I’ve now got to go to have an injection in my eye. The ophthalmic doctor said the cause is unknown, but I’m wondering if it could be the effects of the cobalt?
      What I would like to know is: did the cobalt in my case start leaking from day 1 or did it happen after the fall I had?
      Best wishes to everyone and thanks for this site,

      Marion

  28. Susan Goodman said:

    Hi Marion,
    I had my MoM hip in 2006 and was told by my surgeon that they became aware of the cobalt & chromium high levels in 2010. They ‘forgot ‘ to recall me so I didn’t know anything was wrong till a friend said I should go for a blood test. At the time I too wasn’t experiencing any outward symptoms, or any that I felt could be to do with my hip replacement. My metal levels were in the ‘thousands’ instead of being ’20’ & ’17’ – normal readings! I believe that I was being poisoned for a number of years and the side effects from that are difficult to link to the metals. I am now 3 months post revision surgery and my levels now are in the ‘hundreds’ so on their way down. I have problems with my hearing which I hope they can sort out but I don’t think they know what the long term damage is from this disaster. You need to have the revision done asap and also pursue a legal claim.
    I wish you all the best and hope you make a good recovery.
    It really is so good to be in touch with others in the same situation.
    Sue.

  29. Mårten Wigstøl said:

    I am a 54 year old man living in Norway. I had a MOM Smith & Nephew hip (left) installed in 2005 and one (right) in 2007. My first hip was never as good as the second hip (perfect) – but still okay. Never gave this a lot of thought, except for a lot of muscle aching for many years.

    A year ago I went for my yearly physical exam. I was very fit and in good shape, except for a severe pain in my left hip. I told my doctor about the pain and they took an x-ray jut to check. I received a call from the doctor the same day to come in immediately, and naturally I thought they saw something on the x-ray. The Xray was fine – but the problem was dramatically low levels of white cells and blood plates (red cell levels were normal). Since I do a check up every year – this was new. I was submitted to the hospital where they tried to find the cause (cancer, medications, autoimmune diseases etc). I have been through every test possible (bone marrow testing, scanning, etc). The scanning revealed large glands in my left armpit. The removed one or two of the glands (June this year) and the surgeon was confident that it was lymphoma. 5 days later they told me that the biopsi does not show any cancer cells – the lympnodes must react on something else.

    From day one I told the hematologist treating me that I believe there is a connection between the wipe out of my immune system and the hip. She took this seriously and we did metal testing of the blood. The blood tests shows chrome in the range of 5-6 and cobalt in the range of 8-11 over time. My hip surgeon has followed this since March and we have taken X-rays and an MRI that does not show anything. He has also told me that he has checked whether there is any incidences out there of metalosis and wipe out of the immune system and that he has not heard of any such cases. Despite this – my left hip is getting worse (clunking, shooting pain, pain when I walk for more than 20 minutes, can’t stand on one leg, terrible shooting pain getting out of the chair, muscle cramps at night, muscle pain, small face cramps etc). No pain in resting positions.

    I am going to see my hip surgeon in November – we will discuss a revision surgery.

    Is there anyone out there that has experienced critically low levels of white cells and blood plates and at the same time normal levels of red cells?

    What should I be aware of during my discussions with him.

    I have a feeling that there is something they know – but that they do not give us the complete picture.

  30. pamela drew said:

    Hi there i have commented before as i was extremely ill after my hip researfacing and had horendous symtoms from the moment i woke up from surgery doctors ignored me and i now have been diagnosed with lupus i still have the metal in my hip and wondered if many people with hip researfacing end up with lupus.

    • Hi Pamela

      the metal in your hip should not be a problem – what type of hip? Ceramic on plastic?

      Earl

      • Laurie Wragg said:

        Hi Earl

        My husband seems to have a lot the symptoms of cobalt/ chromium poisoning (hip pain, joint sweaking, dizzyness. extreme tiredness, unexplained forgetfulness, mood swings, breathlessness, iching) and we are finding things very frustrating at the moment.

        Back in June he was told by the surgeon that his Birmingham MOM hip re-surfacing had “loosened” and needed replacing with a full hip replacement. We had already done a little research onto the possibility of heavy metal poisoning so I asked for clarification as to whether his levels were normal and if we could have the faulty joint post surgery. The surgeon immediately reacted with an emphatic no to the idea of us keeping the joint and said his levels were within normal ranges. HIs cobalt and chromium levels are about 6 at the moment. The X rays taken also showed a gap around the joint and for some reason there was also a screw / pin present. Is this serum level and x-ray normal? Are they covering up, just ignorant or are we over-re-acting?

        They now keep deferring the surgery, despite us putting in a formal complaint to the hospital and his symptoms are getting worse every day. He is unable to work, and being self employed this is having a major impact on our lifestyle, as we are down to one income.

        We were told that since he had his hip replacement 9 years ago, we may well be out of time to put a compensation claim in. This is totally immoral, if correct. How can you put a time limit on poisoning someone. We are not in a financial position to fund a private litigation against the manufacturers, especially if it is likely that we will loose because of the time clause, so it would seem that they will get off the hook.

        We are struggling with what to do next. Is it worth asking for a second opinion and changing surgeons to one that does recognise the issue. We have lost faith with the surgeon and are not certain we trust him to do the surgery anyway. Is there any point starting a legal claim and is it worth talking to the doctor about chelating therapy and an MRI scan?

        Regards

        Laurie

      • Hi Laurie

        seems like the surgeon is running for cover – the hip should have been replaced immediately it came loose. The pin is unusual – it may explain the surgeon’s reluctance – he may have botched the original operation and is looking to cover it up. There should be no pin. The coal levels are not normal and the again the surgeon appears to be covering up. You need to find a new surgeon who is very experienced at revisions. The best option for a new hip appears to be a ceramic on plastic hip. Irwin Mitchell in the UK is a good law firm to talk to – details on this blog. Chelation therapy will not work. As the hip is loose it must be replaced immediately. Your surgeon is verging on medical negligence. It is your right to retain the hip – you own it. Strikes me he is trying to cover his tracks. No real point in an MRI – just get a new surgeon and get it replaced. You might like to join our Facebook group – over 500 members who will happily share their experience – http://www.facebook.com/groups/total.hip.news/

        Earl

      • paul wragg said:

        HI Earl Thank you so much for your advice. It pretty much confirms our thoughts about the surgeon as well. Paul is going to make an appointment with our GP to get referred to another hospital. regards Laurie

        Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2014 21:22:18 +0000 To: shootandscapa@hotmail.co.uk

  31. Jim Stanford said:

    Have Stryker mom recalled hip (yr 2012) my last Cobalt blood test is 18 & I’m 74. I have experienced all of those symptoms listed by others. Severe pain in my leg & groin started almost immediately. Then things began to happen that I didn’t understand & I had not researched symptoms of Cobalt. Ringing in my ears were so bad I’d think water was running somewhere in the house so I’d walk from room to room to see if the ringing would stop. I began with an itch of my nose, ear then recently I started with a horrible constant itch in the anal which I bathed often, applied all sorts of cream. Tonight I found this site & read another individual’s comment with that same symptoms. My eyesight has gotten much worse. In the past several months my pretty handwriting didn’t look like mine. This week when I started to write I couldn’t write one letter which was real freightening so I went to my primary Dr & had the test to determine if my veins in my neck were blocked but both were clear. If allowed I’d like to know if anyone visiting this site is from the Birmingham, Al area & could recommend an Orthopedic Surgeon that does revision surgery. The recommended Ortho I spoke with recently said he doesn’t do Cobalt Testing. I’m glad I found this site but more concerned about myself after reading my symptoms probably is from my mom hip implant/cobalt.

    • Jim Stanford, did you ever get a response to your question about a surgeon in the Birmingham, AL area? How are you these days?

      If you still need a referral, respond to this and I will send you the information you need privately, or you can refer to my post dated January 20, 2015.

  32. Russell tullen said:

    Like the other chap real useful as I was a victim of the depuy failure,leaving me with pseudo tumours and a blood count of 89 on cobalt

  33. Russell tullen said:

    Like the other chap real useful as I was a victim of the depuy failure,leaving me with pseudo tumours and a blood count of 89 on cobalt,what I am also curious about are the effects after 3 years??

  34. I am having homeopathy following high metal sensitivity, esp cobalt. Had metal on PU hip replacement. I BELIEVE that metal ions are released with articulation regardless of whether hip was metal on metal or metal on anything else. Friction is friction and zillions of ions are released with each step you take. I agree, high levels of metals do not necessarily you are ill; we have to go by how we feel. In my case, memory lapses, fatigue overwhelming to point of sleeping 14 hrs at a time minimum and face like a corpse,sunken eyes etc. My point is, how can such a minute level of vaccine dose in the Remedy cause such side effects. I had to revert to previous week’s dose TWICE as the dosages have hit me like a poisoned hammer. I was implanted with a metal head AFTER the surgeon showed me a CERAMIC head he was giving me. Can you imagine the sense of powerlessness and utter resignation. Too weak to fight em. I thoguht I could desensitise by gradual doing the Homeo Remedy PolyMetals and still have to be positive about it. Otherwise what choices? Only one thing worse than a THR, and thats a REVISION THR – Ogod… I slept from 7pm til 8am and feel like going back to bed at 9.15… Anyone out there do lobotomies – then I couldnt care either way!! I want to get back on a horse but feel my future is behind me so to speak (tongue firmly in cheek at any unintended puns herein)

  35. Tara Thorpe said:

    I’ve been dealing with artificial joints (both hips, both shoulders) since I was 26 years of age. I am now 56, and have some terrible side affects from the cobalt and chromium ions. Thankfully, Dr. Tower is my orthopedic surgeon, and he will be removing the hip that is suspect in a couple of weeks. But I want to let people know what the personal consequences have been for me.
    For most of my life I have been a Microsoft certified instructor for the Microsoft Office suite. Certified every year, at the expert level, for the various versions. I had to stop this year, because recently I failed my certifications.
    I’ve been losing my hearing, have terrible tinnitus that gets louder as the day goes on. Loss of some of my peripheral vision, and the beginning of macular degeneration. My hands shake to the point that I didn’t even send out Christmas cards this past year.
    My depression has become unmanageable for me, and I have no energy. I can start a project, and 20 minutes later I get distracted by something else. There’s a part of me where I know I should go back and finish it, You should see my apartment – just keeping up with the housekeeping has been a chore. I drive as little as possible, because I don’t trust myself on the road. I have a constant, pounding headache, and the taste of metal is always in my mouth.
    I can tell you that I feel like I’m losing my ability to be independent, and it scares me to death. While I know that for me the artificial joints have been a blessing, this side effect has been a curse. I don’t mind admitting that the aftermath of this upcoming surgery has me frightened. While I have read as much as possible of the gradual improvement once the joints are removed, there’s nothing that talks about the reversal of the hearing or vision problems
    Reading has always been an escape for me, but that has become difficult, also. You can enlarge the text, but sometimes the words make no sense. I only get about 2 to 4 hours of sleep a night, no matter how much pain meds I take. The complications of underlying medical problems have made this a difficult process for me. I am a disabled vet, and the VA has always worked hard for my health. but I know that there are many other veteran’s out there who are dealing with this, but don’t know it. They have doctors telling them that their symptoms are part of getting older, as I was. Heavy metal testing isn’t part of the regular, routine blood tests that get done. If you have a relative who is having problems, and they have an artificial joint, push for this testing. It’s the only way to know.
    My PET scan of my brain was pretty scary, and I do hope that all the cells that aren’t moving do manage to come back to life. Dr. Tower, who went through this himself, says it probably will. There are no absolutes. There’s my desperate need for answers that are clear cut, but even the literature that’s out there doesn’t have clear cut answers. The only thing that I can say is to get the testing done, and then fight like hell to get back on the recovery road, get the best orthopedic surgeon you can, and push to have the entire prosthesis removed, not just a ‘collar’ placed around the neck. And don’t give up, keep fighting.

  36. Earl Bryant said:

    I am a 69 year old male. I have had both hips replaced with Zimmer MoM. My right hip was replaced 8 years ago. I have pain in that hip when walking and the right side is slightly swollen. My left hip was replaced 3 1/2 years ago. I experience a fairly significant nagging pain in that hip while sitting. Perhaps unrelated to the hip joints, I have significant pain in both shoulders. I seem to struggle a bit with remembering simple things. My vision seems to have gotten a little worse. I call myself in good shape (hard workout 2 times per week), but have decided to lose a bunch of weight in anticipation of hip revision surgeries. I have had a MARS MRI which, according to a supposed capable hip surgeon, did not disclose much other than some fluid buildup around the left hip. My serum Cobalt level is something like 11. I sent my MARS MRI to a reputable radiologist in New York that showed a bit more detailed, but nothing that said “YOU HAVE COBALT POISONING”. Does anyone know of a new test that absolutely proves cobalt poisoning?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    • Hi Earl

      I have referred your comments to Dr Steve Tower for an opinion.

      Regards

      Earl

    • I had bilateral hip resurfacing 2011 ( smith / nephew birmingham ) Chromium 10 / Cobalt 8. I was having issues but was told by surgeon that these numbers would not cause the problems I was having. Then had Mars MRI and it showed the contrary.
      Tissue damage….fluid ….ringing in ears . Had revision surgery on right hip in 2013. Numbers were cut in half. Still have symptoms. Still need revision on left hip. Our own government has screwed us….this company generates billions of dollars a year but because the FDA granted them PMA ( Pre Market Approval ) They cant be held responsible for their device causing harm to the American public. Its all about Money….who is owed favors because of donations to political parties.

  37. Larry Steen said:

    I have not suffered any pain from my Du Puy hip since my 2005 implant. however after 1 year my magnesium levels dropped causing sever cramping , levels dropped to 0.08 I had to be rushed into a cardiac ward. As I had an iliostomy in 1993 but had performed perfectly up to 2006. Many tests have drawn a blank why Gastric mucosa have formed in my small bowl. Other symptoms I have developed are loss of weight and mussel tone, memory loss, hearing loss, tirdness, and memory loss. Now my iron levels have dropped .I have been told that my blood tests were normal however on receiving copies of results I have found over the years the levels have ranged from chromium 43 nmol/l to 13 nmol/l and cobalt 21 to 38. I have also been told that the definitive test is a urine test and not a blood test. Is this true. I have suffered 10 years of misery without a proper explanation. blood testing only started 5 years ago.

  38. Jeannette Wilson said:

    My mom had a hip replacement done back in August 2007. Since then she has complained of hip pain, she went back to the surgeon and he said that she just has a hernia. It is now 2017 and someone found out what the problem was (finally). Well they found cobalt and metallic poisoning. They found a large mass of the poison from her hip joint to her pubic area. Does anyone know of a good attorney.

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