If you have a Metal-on-Metal (MoM) hip implant, you may have heard the term “revision surgery” before. But what is revision surgery, and how can you tell if you need it?
Revision surgery is a procedure in which a broken, worn out, or unsafe hip implant is removed and replaced (in whole or in part) by a new implant. Because Metal-on-Metal hip implants have such high rates of failure, hip revisions are a relatively common procedure.
Here, we’ve put together a list of some of the top 10 most common signs that you may need hip revision surgery. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms of implant failure, you should speak to your doctor and request to get your blood metal ion levels measured as soon as possible.
You feel pain in your hip or pelvic area.
This one might seem obvious, but people often underestimate the importance of listening to your body when it is in pain. Your hip implant should not cause you pain if it is working correctly. If you’re suddenly experiencing pain in your hip or pelvic area during everyday activities, it’s a sign that something could be wrong with your hip replacement. Pain is a symptom of many metal-on-metal implant side effects, such as dislocation, bone damage, muscle damage, pseudotumors, or infection.
You hear squeaking, popping or clicking in your hip.
In short – anything in your hip that doesn’t feel quite right in your hip is a sign that you might need a new one. You really shouldn’t be able to feel (or hear) your implant. If it is working correctly, it should be a seamless part of your body, just like any other joint. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your hip replacement. Pain, squeaking, popping, or clicking in your hip could be signs that your implant has dislocated, caused bone loss, destroyed muscle tissue, developed a pseudotumor, or some other serious side-effect of metal-on-metal hip implants.
You experience difficulty walking or bearing weight on your hip.
Do you find yourself walking, standing, or leaning in an unusual way to avoid feeling pain in your hip during everyday activities? This is something to bring up to your doctor to see if revision surgery is an option. Problems caused by metal-on-metal hips, like pseudotumors, ALVAL or infection, make bearing weight on your replaced hip more painful.
You sometimes get a metallic taste in your mouth, particularly in the mornings.
Metal-on-metal hips are made up of multiple metal components, which rub against each other when you walk or move your leg. As this happens, tiny metal particles flake off into your body and bloodstream. If enough metal particles enter your body, serious side effects can occur, such as a type of metal poisoning called metallosis. A symptom of metallosis is a metal taste in your mouth.
You’re experiencing blurry vision and/or color-blindness.
The metal particles released into the body by metal-on-metal hip replacements can have many adverse effects on the body. One of these possible effects is on your vision. Vision loss or color-blindness are both reactions to metal in the blood from a metal on metal hip replacement.
Your hearing has gotten worse, and/or you hear ringing in your ears.
Similar to the vision loss and metallic taste, hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) can be caused by excessive metal in the bloodstream.
You’re showing symptoms of dementia or cognitive impairment.
Metal particles in the blood can wreak havoc on the body when levels are high enough to cause metal poisoning. One of the results of metal poisoning due to a metal-on-metal hip is dementia, memory problems, and cognitive impairment. Revision surgery may help stop the progression, so if you show these signs it is best to speak to a doctor about your possibly faulty hip replacement.
Your blood metal ions are high.
Leading orthopedic surgeons recommend that patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements get their blood tested for metal ions every three months. If your levels are too high, it could lead to issues like the ones listed above. If your levels are too high, you should speak to your doctor about revision surgery and if it is right for your situation.
You’re experiencing any or all of the symptoms above.
If you have a metal-on-metal hip replacement and have experienced any of the symptoms above, you should speak with a doctor about revision surgery and if it is an option for your situation.
Even if you aren’t experiencing any of these signs & symptoms – you should still talk to your doctor.
Some people with bad metal-on-metal hip replacements have been recommended to get revision surgeries even when they have not experienced any pain or side effects at all. This is why many leading orthopedic surgeons recommend people with metal-on-metal hip replacements get testing for metal levels in their blood every three months.
Learn more about defective metal on metal hip replacements and the problems they can cause. If you have a metal on metal hip replacement and believe it may be defective, you should talk to your doctor. Then, contact an attorney about your potential claim against defective hip manufacturers. MCTLaw is highly experienced with metal on metal hip cases. Our attorneys filed the FIRST lawsuit in the US against a metal on metal hip manufacturer. Let us review your case at no cost. Call us at 888.952.5242 or get an online case review here.