Toxic Levels of Metal Ions - Chromium & Cobalt - Found in Patients with Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

A joint investigation by the BBC and the British Medical Journal found that patients with metal-on-metal hip implants have toxic levels of chromium and cobalt. In some patients with metal-on-metal hip implants the ion concentrations are 600 times higher than normal. Levels this high are risky. The investigation links the toxic levels of metal ions caused by the metal-on-metal hip implants to cancer, cardiomyopathy, and muscle & bone destruction.

Hundreds of thousands on individuals have undergone hip replacements using a metal-on-metal hip implant. The metal-on-metal hip implants of concern include:

  • Depuy’s ASR Hip System
  • DePuy’s Pinnacle Hip System
  • Wright’s Conserve Total Hip System
  • Wright’s Profemur Total Hip systems

The recent investigation showed that 20% of patients with the metal-on-metal implants, like the DePuy Pinnacle Hip System, had metal ion levels of 7 µg/L. Typically, a person’s ions levels are about 0.5 µg/L. DePuy’s internal documents show that it knew of the risks associated with these high levels of metal ions. The investigation revealed that DePuy had reports that metal debris may be carcinogenic but continued to promote its metal-on-metal hip implants. To date, most manufacturers despite what they know about the risks associated with metal debris and toxic levels of metal ions continue to promote their metal-on-metal hip implants.