PT eDigest

xxxxBe Hip to Metal-on-Metal Implants

If you have had a hip replaced with a metal-on-metal (MoM) implant, you may be concerned about reports of health problems with this type of artificial joint. Hip implants are fabricated from metal, plastic, ceramic or a combination of materials. Each type has risks and benefits, and it is up to you and your surgeon to decide what materials will work best for you. MoM hips are advantageous because of their durability, stability and lower probability of dislocation.

As MoM hip implants undergo daily wear and tear, the metal surface of the artificial joint can corrode and deteriorate, releasing tiny metal particles and ions into the bloodstream. In some patients, this can lead to pain and swelling in the hip, as well as other health problems related to the heart, thyroid and nervous system. Luckily, these problems are rare, and most people have great success with MoM implants. A good postoperative strength maintenance program can help keep your MoM implant prosthesis healthy and functioning well.

If you have recently had hip replacement surgery, we can help you during the immediate postsurgical period.

  • We can suggest some modifications and restrictions to movement to allow soft tissues to heal.
  • We can create an exercise program that will help you regain the strength in your knee or hip and legs so you can walk more easily.
  • Isometric exercises, such as ankle pumps, quad setting for upper leg and thigh muscles, and gluteal setting for the buttocks, will help your muscles function more efficiently after surgery and promote blood circulation in your legs to prevent clots from forming. These exercises may be performed whenever you feel your legs becoming stiff.
  • We can help restore your balance and strengthen the muscles surrounding the implant, which will help avoid complications and allow you to return to your normal activities quickly.

If you experience pain or swelling in the hip area or any other health problems after MoM implant hip replacement, alert your physician or surgeon immediately. Most people with MoM implants will not experience adverse effects; rather, they will find much-needed relief from the problems that led to a hip replacement in the first place.

Download the PTedigest for June 2014