Some symptoms of a failing metal-on-metal hip replacement, many of which have been recalled, include medical problems such as skin rashes, cardiomyopathy, neurological issues such as hearing and vision changes, psychological changes, kidney impairment and thyroid issues, according to the Food and Drug Administration. These symptoms are the result of metal poisoning.
Other symptoms of hip replacement failure include groin pain, swelling, numbness, noises and changes in the ability to walk, states the FDA. Metal-on-metal friction releases small shards of metal in the body, which affects each individual differently. In addition to other symptoms, metal shards can cause inflammation and deterioration of tissues around the joint, which loosens the implant.
Susceptible individuals are those with suppressed immune systems or kidney problems, those on corticosteroids, females and those with hip replacements on both sides, as well as those with sensitivity to chromium, nickel and cobalt. In addition, hip replacement recipients who are overweight or who participate in high levels of physical activity, among other factors, are also at greater risk of developing symptoms, explains the FDA.
Hip replacement recipients who experience symptoms, whether in their hips and groin or elsewhere in the body, should consult a physician who can determine if hip revision surgery is necessary, advises the FDA.