There’s growing concern over elevated levels of cobalt and chromium in patients with DePuy ASR metal on metal hip implants. All patients with these recalled metal on metal hip replacements should be evaluated for the level of serum cobalt and chromium in their system. In a recent article published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, orthopedic surgeon Stephen Tower M.D. explains:
A serum cobalt level of > 7 mg/L indicates possible periprosthetic metallosis. A normal serum cobalt level is .19 mg/L and 95% of those who are unexposed to cobalt have a value of <.41 mg/L. A serum cobalt level of > 1 mg/L indicates excessive cobalt exposure, and levels of >5 mg/L are considered toxic.
It is important to remember that slightly elevated levels are normal for patients who have metal-on-metal hip implants. Slightly elevated levels may not be a major cause for concern, but excessively elevated levels are very alarming. There’s been very little research conducted to determine long-term effects of elevated metal ion levels.
DePuy Orthopedics, Inc. has released a report stating that concentrations greater than 7 parts per billion of cobalt and/or chromium are of concern. If either is the case, you should get another blood test within three months of the first one. If the second blood test shows a concentration of cobalt and chromium still above 7 parts per billion, your doctor will likely recommend a MARS MRI and/or ultrasound and more testing.Even with no physical symptoms, your body could still be facing health issues for years to come associated with the recalled ASR hip implant.For more information about the ASR Hip Recall and the symptoms associated with the hip’s failure rate, go to www.mctplaw.com/depuy-asr/