Posted by ghsmith76
I have 2 Resurfaced Hips made of Chrome/Cobalt. The first in 2006 and the second in 2010. I first posted about this situation after watching the documentary film “The Bleeding Edge” on Netflix. Since then my concern has only heightened due to the potential of chrome/cobalt poisoning in my blood and tissue from metal fatigue realized from these metal hips. I have friends who have experienced the horrible effects from this heavy metal poisoning so I have monitored my own situation closely in recent years. In this post I wanted to share how the use of the supplement N-Acetyl-Cysteine, NAC, has actually decreased the levels of Chrome/Cobalt in my body.
My History: My family has shown a propensity toward the development of an arthritis that creates some bone deposits in our hips. For me this has been accelerated by a life of sports activity, most notably basketball, that allowed this arthritic condition to wear away the natural lining of my hip joint. Once I understood this back in 2006 when I was 52 years old and in constant pain I had to figure out a solution. I had heard that hip replacements were good for 15-20 years which did not seem to match well with my age. I remember hearing about hip resurfacing in a 60 Minutes type segment on Americans traveling to India for this surgery. So I started investigating this alternative procedure. The allure for me was the fact that you could remain active and if needed down the road I could still get a hip replacement. Fortunate for me there was an orthopedic surgeon in Salem, Oregon, who was allowed to perform this surgery probably due to the FDA’s 510(k) pathway for approving medical devices. My first hip was his 439th hip resurfacing. I do believe that my second hip done in 2010 was from the same design and stock of the Cobalt-chrome implant.
My first heavy metals blood/urine test was done in 2016 which showed that my levels were higher then normal but still within a safe range. My tests in 2021 showed that these levels had not come down but still no serious worries except that it seemed to me that my muscles around my hips were not recovering as quickly from heavy backpacking exertion as they used to. In 2021 my doctor asked if I wanted to explore blood chelation therapy to remove heavy metals from my blood. That seemed a bit excessive, but I appreciated the advice and so I set out to investigate other options to achieve this chelation. Of course the Internet provided a wealth of information that once deciphered led me to try taking the natural health supplement N-Acetyl-Cysteine which provided the chelation of heavy metals in my blood to be disposed of via urination.
During my recent physical exam in June of 2022 by doctor was very pleased with the progress that had been made with my Chrome/Cobalt numbers. Chrome is really the major concern for me and my test results went from 2.4 mcg/L in 3/21 to 1.9 mcg/L in 6/22. I have to admit that I was fairly nervous about getting these test results back because I felt like I had really pushed my aging body over that period of time. After completing the Lost Coast Trail in 2/22 I felt like my recovery took longer so I focused my discipline to take the recommended dosage 1200 mg of NAC over 24 hours. It appears that it contributed to the lowering of chrome/cobalt levels in my body. This awakening along with a major life change has caused me to backoff on extensive backpacking treks so I have reduced my NAC daily dosage to 600 mg per day. The only real side effect with taking NAC for me is that it bothers your stomach a bit if you don’t take the pill with a meal.
This article in Arthroplasty Today, “N-Acetyl-Cysteine Reduces Blood Chromium and Cobalt Levels in Metal-on-Metal Hip Arthroplasty“, seemed to be somewhat straightforward in describing the advantages of NAC.
Nothing overly scientific presented in my post, but I thought it was important to at least reference my outcomes on the Internet. My resurfaced hips are still providing me with a positive lifestyle. The Adventure Continues.