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Had metal hip implant and blood test showed chromium and cobalt level. Have groin pain. Metallosis?

Jul 2013
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
I have a metal on metal hip implant and a recent blood test revealed a level of 3.4 on chromium and 2.7 of cobalt. I have pain in the groin (in the area of the hip implant) Do I have a metallosis possibility? I have been told that hip revision surgery will be necessary as the debris from the metal on metal contact will continue to enter into the areas around the implant and in the bloodstream. This is so new an issue and most doctors are, to my finding, somewhat ignorant about the prognisis.
Posted Sat, 12 Oct 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Unlikely to be metallosis.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

This is just to let you know that, although safe levels of Chromium and Cobalt have been prescribed in Industrial Occupational Health settings, these are not directly applicable to patients with artificial hip devices.

In one study, researchers found that serum chromium levels of 17 parts per billion (ppb) and serum cobalt levels of 19 ppb are unsafe.

So, I feel that metallosis is most unlikely in your case. Yes, if it has been diagnosed and established that the cause of your pain is due to debris collection, then a revision surgery is indicated.

The pain in your groin could be due to many causes for which a detailed clinical evaluation is necessary to establish the exact cause of your pain.

Hope I have addressed your query. Happy to help further

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