The natural history of metallosis from catastrophic failure of a polyethylene liner in a total hip

J Arthroplasty. 2009 Oct;24(7):1144.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2008.09.002. Epub 2008 Oct 9.


We report on a case of metallosis initially presumed to be heterotopic ossification based on radiologic findings. A 68-year-old man with a total hip arthroplasty experienced failure of the polyethylene liner, resulting in articulation of the ceramic head with the titanium acetabular shell. During revision surgery, extensive metallic debris was evident macroscopically throughout the periprosthetic tissue and was confirmed histologically to be metallosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / instrumentation*
  • Ceramics
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Hip Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metals*
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / diagnostic imaging
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / etiology
  • Polyethylene*
  • Prosthesis Failure*
  • Radiography
  • Reoperation
  • Titanium
  • Treatment Failure


  • Metals
  • Polyethylene
  • Titanium