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Dr. Tower's academic interest is the mechanical failure of modern hip replacements. He was the first to identify the systemic health impacts of metal-on-metal hips. His research led to the identification of health problems related to cobalt poisoning and the recall of many metal-on-metal devices. Dr. Tower subsequently theorized that hip prosthetics combining cobalt and titanium components cause similar problems due to metal corrosion.


Dr. Tower's research increases awareness of the difficulties that many patients with hip replacements may experience and encourages health care providers to monitor their patients' cobalt levels and health effects to determine the best course of treatment.


If you suspect that you may have elevated cobalt levels from a prior joint replacement surgery, you should first see your primary care provider to have them obtain whole blood and urine cobalt levels. If your primary care provider determines that your levels are of concern, that information can be forwarded to us along with records of your joint replacement surgery, so that we can begin determining the best course of treatment for you.

F-18 FDG PET brain imaging in symptomatic arthroprosthetic cobaltism.

Parkinsonian Case Report 2016 Explant Analysis from a Patient Exhibiting Rapid Acceleration of Parkinson Disease Symptoms and Hypercobaltemia Following Metal-on-Metal Total Hip Arthroplasty.

Investigation performed at the Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire


A Systematic Review of Systemic Cobaltism After Wear or Corrosion of Chrome-Cobalt Hip ImplantsGessner, Bradford D. MD, MPH; Steck, Thomas BS; Woelber, Erik MSc; Tower, Stephen S. MD, Journal of Patient Safety, June 12, 2015,


Bad Bearings, AAOS Now, February 2011 Issue,


Arthroprosthetic Cobaltism: Neurological and Cardiac Manifestations in Two Patients with Metal-on-Metal Arthroplasty, The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 2010 Dec 01; 92 (17): 2847 -2851 .


Arthoprosthetic Cobaltism: Identification of the At-Risk Patient, Alaska Medicine, September 2010.


Cobalt Toxicity in Two Hip Replacement Patients, State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin, May 28, 2010

New Research Links Artificial Hip Replacement With Cobalt Brain Toxicity

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