Ann Conkle
Feb 29, 2012

Investigation raises new concerns over toxicity of metal hip implants

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world may have been exposed to dangerously high levels of toxic metals from failing hip implants, despite the risks being known and documented for decades, warns a joint British Medical Journal (BMJ) / BBC Newsnight investigation published today. The investigation reports how cobalt and chromium ions can seep into the tissues of patients with ‘metal on metal’ (MoM) hip implants, causing local reactions that destroy muscle and bone, and leaving some patients with long term disability. Studies have also shown that metal ions can leach into the bloodstream, spreading to the lymph nodes, spleen, liver and kidneys, before leaving the body as urine. There are also concerns about damage to chromosomes, leading to genetic changes.