Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Biological and Physical Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Anthony Sacino


Studies collectively reviewing hundreds of case studies have revealed that metal-on-metal hip implants have been failing in the body by degrading at the connection between the ball on the femur and the socket in the hip. In many older adults, these surgeries have been used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatic disorders, trauma, bone tumors, etc., but there are various adverse side effects that come with a major surgery, as with any type of surgery. For a total hip arthroplasty, or THA, the risk of necrosis, pseudotumors and generalized pain in the surgical area are common side effects, but providers often do not note the risk of implant failure and how that impacts the body. An adverse side effect that is not as well known, but just as serious, is the physiological changes that occur in the brain to mimic dementia symptoms. Patients presenting with dementia symptoms have recently been misdiagnosed because providers would not think to run a heavy metal panel to investigate if the hip implants are the cause of the symptoms. This literature review will outline the long-term effects of metal hip implants, how patients should be aware of the possibilities presented by metal toxicity, less known adverse manifestations of metal accumulation in the bloodstream, and the subsequent neurological symptoms.