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Acta Biomed. 2002;73(5-6):85-91.

Metallosis due to impingement between the socket and the femoral head in a total hip prosthesis. A case report.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Radiologiche ed Ortopedico-Riabilitative Clinica Ortopedica e Traumatologica, Università degli Studi di Siena, Siena, Italy.


Metallosis is usually defined as aseptic fibrosis, local necrosis, or loosening of a device secondary to metallic corrosion and release of wear debris. It is an occasional but characteristic clinical finding in patients who have a metal-on-metal design of total hip replacement, or when metal surfaces contact after a failure or erosion of the polyethylene component. We report the case of a patient who had severe metallosis caused by wear of the femoral head with the titanium socket, after the complete erosion and destruction of the polyethylene cup, with failure of the accetabular component. Breakage of the acetabular cup constitutes one of the possible long-term complications occurring as a result of a total hip replacement. This extremely rare complication can occur at any time postoperatively and may not be associated with symptoms or other problems for a long time.

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