Many organizations warn that metal-on-metal hip replacements pose dangers that could negatively affect a person’s health. It’s important to understand those adverse effects and the symptoms that something has gone wrong with your implant. Too many people with these implants simply don’t know what to expect.
Know the Symptoms of Implant Malfunction
There are a variety of symptoms that you could experience when your implant malfunctions. Each person will have a unique experience. These, however, are some of the most common symptoms. If you experience any of them, you should see a doctor to get the implant tested and have your health monitored.
- Difficulty walking
- A popping, squeaking, or grinding noise coming from your hip
- Pain felt in the hip, leg, or groin
- Swelling around the hip joint
- Numbness in the hip area
Potential Dangers of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants
As if the pain and immobility weren’t bad enough, malfunctioning metal-on-metal implants can pose significant health risks. This happens because ions are released when the two metal pieces rub together. These ions can enter a patient’s bloodstream, which allows them to travel throughout the body.
This can cause serious health problems, including:
- Thyroid dysfunction, which can cause neck pain, weight gain, and fatigue
- Cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure
- Neurological changes often experienced as sight and hearing disruptions
- Renal function impairment
- Psychological changes, including depression and cognitive impairment
Anyone at risk of these conditions clearly needs to see a doctor before they worsen.
How Do Doctors Check for Adverse Effects
Doctors have several tests that they can use to determine whether your metal-on-metal implant is causing health problems. They can also use tests designed to specifically diagnose some of the illnesses and conditions listed above.
Some tests that your doctor might need to perform include:
- Soft tissue imaging that lets them see how your body is responding to the implant
- Blood tests that let them find the presence of metal ions in your blood
- Removing fluid from around the joint with a needle
From the patient’s perspective, these are rather simple tests that don’t cause much, if any, pain and only take a short amount of time. They are certainly nothing compared to the implant procedure. If you worry that you have experienced any symptoms of malfunctioning hip implant, don’t put off seeing the doctor.
You don’t need to live with the discomfort and you don’t need to put your health in danger.