Garson Johnson Law Blog

Metal Ion Levels after Hip Revision Surgery

Do you ever wonder how long it takes for elevated metal ion levels to go down after revision surgery?

It is well known that hip pain and other symptoms are greatly improved once a patient undergoes revision surgery to remove metal-on-metal hip implants like the Stryker Rejuvenate or ABGII hip implant.  However, no one has ever has ever examined  how quickly elevated cobalt and chromium levels go down after revision. The Rejuvenate and ABGII femoral stems are made of a proprietary titanium alloy with a cobalt-chromium modular neck.  It is suggested that the mixed metals are more susceptible to corrosion and fretting which is why doctors routinely monitor metal ion levels and inflammatory blood markers. We know that metal ion levels and inflammatory markers increase prior to revision due to fretting and corrosion.   Barlow and his colleagues evaluated the pre- and post-operative metal ion levels and the inflammatory markers of patients revised due to pain and adverse reaction to metal. They found that both cobalt and chromium levels as well as the inflammatory blood markers came down at 6 weeks following revision surgery, with cobalt and chromium at near normal levels at 6  months.

See Barlow, B.  et al. (2015). Short-term metal ion trends following removal of recalled modular neck femoral stems, Journal of Arthroplasty, Epub

by Weisman, Kennedy & Berris

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