Evidence-based understanding of management perils for metal-on-metal hip arthroplasty patients

J Arthroplasty. 2012 Sep;27(8 Suppl):20-5. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2012.03.029. Epub 2012 May 17.


Adverse biological reactions causing failures of metal-on-metal (MoM) hip arthroplasty can be local or systemic. Both dose-dependent cytotoxicity of wear debris leading to subsequent necrosis of periprosthetic soft tissues and adaptive immunity may play an important role in pathogenesis in susceptible patients. There appears to be a spectrum of clinical presentations of adverse soft tissue reactions, reflecting a complex interplay of implant, surgical, and patient factors. A systematic treatment approach is helpful in optimizing evidence-based management of MoM patients. Although specialized tests such as metal ion levels are a useful diagnostic tool for evaluating MoM hip arthroplasty patients, overreliance on any single investigative tool in clinical decision-making process should be avoided. Future research focusing on diagnostic tools for detecting adverse periprosthetic soft tissue necrosis as well as optimization of MoM bearings and modular connections to further diminish wear and corrosion is warranted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Hip Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Metal-on-Metal Joint Prostheses / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Safety Management*