Metal Ions/Metal Implants
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School 10 Shattuck Street, Suite 612 Boston, MA 02115 USA www.health.harvard.edu New studies show chromium may help diabetes, cholesterol, and heart disease, reports the Harvard Men's Health Watch.
This is a longitudinal study of the daily urinary output and the concentrations in whole blood of cobalt and chromium in patients with metal-on-metal resurfacings over a period of four years.
If you need to find out if you are allergic to metals, this is the ONLY test that will work. Skin patch tests are useless. The way your body reacts to things on the surface is completely different than inside your body. You can NOT get this test done at just any lab, your doctor needs to send an order to this facility ONLY. Currently they are the only facility in the U.S. that I am aware of that does this test accurately.
If you or your doctor suspects that your implant may be placed slightly off and/or you are experiencing a lot of unexplained pain, it is a good idea to have your metail ion levels checked. Or you happen to have an implant that has been recalled like either the Zimmer Durom or the Depuy ASR, it migh be wise to get your levels tested. Usually the surgeons do not advise getting this test done until you are at least one year post op, but check with your doctor. Here is the test you need to ask for, print this out.
Watch Videos of Six World Renowned Surgeons discussing the recent concerns about metal implants, metal ions and pseudo tumors
Tony Nargol: "We are seeing patients with no pain and severe osteolysis of pelvis with ASR’s. The critical investigation is metal ions testing. In UK it is exploding and each centre that had not seen the problem is steadily seeing failures.
We use whole blood specimens drawn into lithium-heparin containing tubes with non-contamination precautions, and analysed with HRICPMS (high resolution inductively coupled mass spectrometry) for the most accurate assessment of metal ion levels. The problem with using serum, plasma or erythrocytes is that metal ions are differentially distributed in the intracellular and extracellular compartments and introduces variability. Furthermore the specimen must be centrifuged and separated locally soon after the blood sample is drawn. Delay in achieving this will hemolyze the specimen and can lead to significant errors in assessment.
Metallosis of the hip is usually defined as aseptic fibrosis, local necrosis, or loosening of the prosthesis secondary to metallic corrosion and release of wear debris.8 It has also been defined as gray discoloration of the tissues of the joint, pain, an effusion, and elevated serum metal levels. Metallosis has been found with stainless steel, titanium, and cobalt chromium alloy femoral prostheses articulating either with a similar metal or (rarely) with a polymer acetabular component. Titanium and stainless steel femoral head prostheses are no longer used, so today metallosis usually refers to tissue changes observed following the use of cobalt chromium-on cobalt chromium (metal-on-metal) implants. Metal-on-metal hip prostheses have been in common use for total hip replacement and almost all current hip resurfacing prostheses are metal-on-metal.12
A few centres have reported a phenomenon, which has been named ‘pseudotumors’ by a renowned orthopaedic hospital in Oxford. The term pseudotumor refers to a problem, whereby a hip resurfacing or a metal-on-metal hip replacement fails with a painful swelling or with collection of fluid around the hip joint. The word ‘pseudotumor’ has caused consternation among patients who were worried if this is some kind of a hidden cancer or a pre-cancerous condition. These need to be put into perspective.
Got my final test results in for my metal levels, I am almost 3 1/2 years post op and wanted to be a test subject and have my metal ion levels tested. Dr. Su was kind enough to assist and pay for the testing for my metal sensitivity tests so I had 11 very large tubes of blood drawn at my GP's offices and sent some tubes to RUSH in Chicago and some to a special local lab. Dr. Su called me and emailed me with my results. I show no allergies to any metals which was surprising to me since I am very allergic to cheap earrings. I will have to test out the theory that maybe the implant has made me no longer sensitive to metals by wearing some fake earrings one day. My metal levels were below normal, read below:
"Any implant can get infected either at time of surgery or seeded later on. That includes valves, skull plates, ortho hardware and even dental implants. Just a fact of life. On psuedotumors, they are nothing new, just a sign of rejection by the body, a big immune complex if you will. Rice bodies, the same, essentially small immune complexes floating around inflamed joints seen in a number of inflamatory arthritis diseases........."
Adapted from: Metal Sensitivity as a Cause of Groin Pain in Metal-on-Metal Surface Arthroplasties. J. Arthroplasty in press, 2008 P. Campbell, Ph.D A. Shimmin, M.D. 1 L. Walter, M.D. 2 M.Solomon, M.D. 3