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Orthopedics. 2011 Oct 5;34(10):e678-81. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20110826-32.

Noninflammatory pseudotumor simulating venous thrombosis after metal-on-metal hip resurfacing.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Medical University of Graz, Austria.


Metal-on-metal hip resurfacing has become a widespread procedure, especially in young, physically active patients. Pseudotumor is a new complication that can occur after hip resurfacing and metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty (THA). This article presents a case of a 37-year-old woman who underwent metal-on-metal resurfacing of the left hip for symptomatic osteoarthritis. Twelve months following implantation, the patient reported painless swelling of the left lower leg. There was no clinical evidence of a deep venous thrombosis. Ultrasound and computed tomography showed a solid cystic lesion in the iliopsoas muscle, which communicated with the hip joint and compressed the external iliac vein. As a consequence, the cystic lesion was resected marginally. A few months later, the patient reported some discomfort in the groin and symptoms of instability, metallic clicking, and a restricted range of motion. Clinical and radiological examination revealed normal findings. Determining the serum concentration of cobalt and chromium revealed high increased levels of these metal ions. Ten months following excision of the pseudotumor, the patient reported recurrent swelling of the left lower leg. Computed tomography of the affected area showed a lobulated cystic formation; therefore, a relapse was suspected. At the second revision, the mass was excised and the implant was revised to a conventional ceramic-on-ceramic THA. At 30-month follow-up, the patient was doing well and there were no signs of local recurrence. Additionally, the metal ion levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood had significantly decreased.

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