Polyneuropathy caused by cobalt-chromium metallosis after total hip replacement

Muscle Nerve. 2010 Jul;42(1):140-3. doi: 10.1002/mus.21638.


Although metal intoxication after arthroplasty causes various symptoms, polyneuropathy has never been the focus of clinical investigation. We report the case of a 56-year-old woman with metal neuropathy. She had metallosis after hip arthroplasty with a cobalt-chromium alloy prosthesis. She developed progressive sensory disturbance, hearing loss, and hypothyroidism. Sural nerve biopsy indicated axonopathy. After exchange arthroplasty, blood levels of cobalt and chromium decreased, and her symptoms improved. Cobalt or chromium can cause axonopathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip*
  • Chromium Alloys / adverse effects*
  • Edema / etiology
  • Edema / pathology
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / chemically induced
  • Hip Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / chemically induced
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Polyneuropathies / chemically induced*
  • Polyneuropathies / pathology*
  • Postoperative Complications / chemically induced*
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology*
  • Reoperation
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology
  • Sural Nerve / pathology
  • Thyroid Function Tests


  • Chromium Alloys