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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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46 thoughts on “Cobalt Poisoning”

  1. Shynesssocialanxiety review said:

    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?

  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!

  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

  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?

    • earlstevens58 said:

      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

  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

    • earlstevens58 said:

      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

      • earlstevens58 said:

        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.

      • earlstevens58 said:

        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

  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.

      • earlstevens58 said:

        Personally I cannot see it improving and while you are still younger and more resilient I would get the poison out of your body. It will cause more problems than you want to know about.

        Earl

      • earlstevens58 said:

        Marion

        the only way to fix this is to have it removed – even if you have chelation, it will be destroying your bone and muscle tissue around the hip.

        Get it out.

        Earl

  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

    • earlstevens58 said:

      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

      • earlstevens58 said:

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

  14. Dean Vogt said:

    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.

    • earlstevens58 said:

      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

    • earlstevens58 said:

      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

  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

  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.

  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

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