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. 2014 Jan;43(1):79-91.
doi: 10.1007/s00132-013-2131-z.

[Complications of Metal-On-Metal Tribological Pairing]

[Article in German]

[Complications of Metal-On-Metal Tribological Pairing]

[Article in German]
M Stiehler et al. Orthopade. .


Background: Metal-on-metal (MoM) tribological pairing results in less volumetric abrasion than pairing with the conventionally used polyethylene and is associated with a lower risk of material failure compared to other hard-hard pairings. An increased frequency of problem cases in recent years has led to a great increase in uncertainty. Against this background in this article the current aspects of epidemiology, etiology, diagnostics and treatment of complications in MoM hip joint endoprostheses will be discussed.

Epidemiology and etiology: Based on the results from national endoprosthesis registers and selected clinical studies an evaluation of the rate of local complications from MoM tribological pairings was undertaken. A differentiation was made between MoM pairings in pedicled small head prostheses (≤ 32 mm), large head (> 32 mm) and surface replacement (OFE) endoprostheses. Each year MoM endoprostheses release on average 10(12)-10(14) cobalt (Co) and chromium (Cr) nanoparticles per patient. This release of metal ions and particles can lead to a variety of tissue reactions.

Diagnostics: A differentiation must be made between regular routine diagnostics within the framework of implant follow-up screening and specific investigations due to the occurrence of complaints. The diagnostics for patients treated with MoM hip endoprostheses consists of a standardized step-wise approach considering possible differential diagnoses and the utilization of modern laboratory chemical and radiological methods. When problems occur, a differentiation should preferentially be made between complaints not caused by metal and mechanical problems (e.g. prosthesis loosening and impingement) and symptoms due to periprosthetic infections.

Therapy of complications: The normal standards for hip endoprosthetics are also valid for periprosthetic infections, fractures and other general complications. Specific measures are, however, necessary for complications due to metal-specific risks.

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