Hip implants can improve your quality of life if you suffer from arthritis or other degenerative bone or joint diseases. However, these implants can fail and cause you severe pain. The Arthritis Foundation notes that metal-on-metal implants are more more likely to fail than other types, but any model may fail long before it should.
If you have a hip implant, you may want to remain aware of what might happen in event of a failure and how it can affect your health.
Metal in the bloodstream
Some hip implant failures can cause metal ions to enter the bloodstream. As the implant degrades, this amount may increase and lead to a variety of new or worsening medical issues, including:
- Thyroid disease
- Neurological problems
While rare, you may also suffer an allergic reaction from these ions, which could make symptoms of hip implant failure more severe.
Unusual or new pain
Like most hip implant patients, you will probably experience some pain and inflammation in the days following the surgery, but physical therapy and guided exercise can help you feel stronger. If the implant starts to fail, you may feel new or increasing pain in that area that may make walking difficult. You might also experience localized numbness. Speaking to your surgeon and revealing your symptoms can help your medical professional decide whether there are any problems with your implant.
The effects of a hip implant failure can have serious ramifications on your overall health. While implants are designed to last well over a decade, a faulty model may start to show signs of failure as early as five years after the initial implantation.