Musculoskeletal Medicine and PainCase Report

Elevated Chromium Levels and Prosthetic Joint Implants

James William Price, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: April 21, 2011

Accepted: May 11, 2011

Published: September 1, 2011

  • James William Price, DO, 

    From St Mary’s Occupational Medicine Clinic at St Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville, Indiana

J Osteopath Med; 111(9): 548-550

Chromium is a naturally occurring, toxic heavy metal used in many industrial processes. The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established specific limits for occupational exposure levels of chromium and guidelines for medical surveillance of individuals who have been exposed to chromium. The author presents a case in which a 54-year-old man who had been working with chromium exhibited persistent elevations of urinary chromium levels after the cessation of occupational exposure. The author determined that the elevated chromium levels were caused by the patient’s knee prostheses, which were made of cobalt-chromium alloy. The author also discusses mandates and screening guidelines for occupational chromium exposure and reviews the literature on chromium levels in individuals with prosthetic joint implants.

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