A retroactive study of patients who ended up having severe complications from their metal-on-metal hip replacements showed early blood tests could predict eventual failure. Patients who had a higher concentration of cobalt in their blood were much more likely to eventually require revision surgery to remove the device.
Metal-on-metal hip replacements such as the BioMet M2a Magnum hip replacements were found to cause toxic levels of metal in the bloodstream, an early indicator of other side effects. Hundreds of patients eventually suffered from tissue damage, pain, swelling and premature loosening of the hip joint.
BioMet recently agreed to settle M2a Magnum hip replacement lawsuits for more than $50 million dollars. Patients who received one of the recalled hip replacements and suffered from severe side effects are still eligible to join in on the pending settlement.