This blog was posted on behalf of Marcia Marshall.
According to yet another in a slew of recent articles revealing the many risks associated with metal-on-metal medical devices, high levels of cobalt and chromium ions in the bloodstream can wreak havoc in the body – a fact that some of our DePuy clients are very intimately aware of!
A British Medical Journal (BMJ) article in February 28, 2012, states that as early as 1966, Cobalt has had proven links to cardiomyopathy and possibly cancer! Cobalt and Chromium ions can cause reaction that destroys muscle and bone and leave some patients with long term disability. In addition, ions can “leach into the bloodstream” and spread to lymph nodes, spleen, liver and kidneys before excretion in the urine. The article also speaks of the “uncertainty that surrounds the toxicology of metal ions in the body,” since “little is known about the transport, distribution, and excretion” of these ions.
Many of our clients have expressed deep frustration because of the varying symptoms they have experienced since receiving their hip prostheses. Some patients have had their complaints of symptoms dismissed by doctors as being, outlandish, “all in their heads,” or attributed to “getting old.” Interestingly enough, these new metal-on-metal hips were primarily targeted to younger, more active patients.
The article’s reference to the long term disability for patients and worry of “possibility of distant effects,” may be apparent in some of our clients who continue to experience symptoms, even after removal of the metal on metal medical devices.
According to one of our DePuy ASR hip clients, “I did not ask to be poisoned!” Perhaps many patients would have chosen to avoid “carcinogenic potential of metal-on-metal hips,” and opt for a conventional implant, if they were able to make a truly informed decision.