Updated: June 2013
Published: October 2011
Over 1 million hips are implanted each year worldwide. While the vast majority of these are successful, an adverse reaction to metal debris (ARMD) occurs in a small number of patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements. Patients experiencing joint pain after a metal-on-metal hip replacement should be evaluated for an adverse reaction to metal debris.
Metal implants wear due to continuous motion of the metal-on-metal surfaces, releasing microparticles into the surrounding tissues. Over time, these microparticles can corrode and release metal ions into the systemic circulation. Evaluation of serum chromium and cobalt concentration can help determine the degree of metal-on-metal orthopedic implant deterioration.
Evaluation of Metal-on-Metal Wear of Orthopedic Implants: Role of Serum Chromium and Cobalt Analysis
by Thomas P. Moyer, PhD and Rafael Sierra, MD, Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic