What are metal-on-metal joint implants?

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Scott D. Martin, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Metal-on-metal joint implants have been in use since the 1960s. The metal parts of an artificial joint are titanium-based or cobalt/chromium-based alloy. The main concern with metal-on-metal implants is their potential to release metal ions into the bloodstream. The tiny charged particles can provoke reactions that lead to the breakdown of bone. The implant may loosen as a result, requiring revision surgery. The long term effects of metal ions in the bloodstream are currently unknown.

Continue Learning about Bone & Joint Injuries

Bone & Joint Injuries

Bone & Joint Injuries

Often caused by falls, trauma, or injury, bone and joint injuries can sometimes be serious enough to require surgery. A broken bone can occasionally puncture your skin, causing intense pain. If you suspect that you have a broken b...

one, you will need medical treatment right away. In serious cases, pins, screws, and plates are placed into the body to stabilize the bone and help it heal. Joints connect our bones, and joint injuries can often occur in the elbows and knees. To reduce your risk of joint injury, stay healthy. Staying at a healthy weight and keeping your muscles strong and fit reduces the wear and tear on your joints.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.