The treatment of femoral neuropathy due to pseudotumour caused by metal-on-metal resurfacing arthroplasty.
Harvie P., Giele H., Fang C., Ansorge O., Ostlere S., Gibbons M., Whitwell D.
Concerns now exist about the long-term biological effects of exposure to orthopaedic metal alloys, particularly serum cobalt and chromium ions derived from metal-on-metal wear debris in these patients. A pseudotumour mass complicating metal-on-metal resurfacing arthroplasty has been recognized by orthopaedic oncologists and specialist hip units. Pseudotumours may also present with a major nerve palsy. Two cases of femoral neuropathy due to pseudotumour masses caused by metal-on-metal resurfacing arthroplasty are presented. Preoperative neurophysiological studies showed severe and irreversible pathological changes to nerve function with neurohistopathological evidence of complete nerve destruction with a previously unreported pathological appearance. This may represent a previously unrecognized pathological process, possibly 'toxic' in nature, resulting from metal-on-metal wear debris. Prolonged follow-up and detailed clinical assessment of patients after hip resurfacing arthroplasty is advocated with planned and expeditious revision of any patient in whom evidence of femoral neuropathy develops.