The study was published in December in the journal Orthopedics, and details the condition of a 54-year-old female patient who received a metal-on-metal hip replacement. According to researchers, the patient developed swelling in her leg five years after hip replacement surgery and this swelling grew worse when the patient walked. The leg swelling was "secondary to venous obstruction by a metallosis-induced iliopsoas bursal cyst associated with markedly elevataed intralesional cobalt and chromium levels."
In other words, after having a metal-on-metal hip replacement, the patient experienced metallic debris coming loose from the device and being absorbed by her bloodstream. This caused a bursal cyst on her iliopsoas, which compressed her femoral vein. The bursal cyst had increased levels of chromium and cobalt.
Researchers noted the patient underwent revision surgery to replace the metal-on-metal hip device with a ceramic-on-ceramic hip device and at one-year follow-up did not have any signs of recurrence of the cyst.
READ MORE DEPUY HIP REPLACEMENT LEGAL NEWS
Lawsuits have been filed against DePuy, alleging their metal-on-metal hip replacement devices were defectively designed, causing serious pain and harm to patients, and forcing them to undergo revision surgery to fix the problem. The DePuy ASR hip replacement devices, which were recalled in August 2010, were shown to have a higher than normal failure rate. Early reports suggested the DePuy device was failing at a rate of between 12 and 13 percent, but information given by the British Orthopaedic Association and the British Hip Society in March 2011, suggests the failure rate is more than 20 percent after four years and up to 49 percent after six years.