BHR, Birmingham Hip Replacement, Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, chrome poisoning, Chronic Pain, Cobalt chrome, Cobalt Ions, Cobalt poisoning, DePuy Hip Recall Litigation, FDA, FDA Hip Recall, Hip failure, Hip Pain, Hip recall, Hip Replacement, hip resurfacing, hip revision, Metal Hypersensitity, metal ions, metal-on-metal hips, metallosis, MoM Hips, Smith & Nephew
Received Overnight from Another Person Suffering with Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Resurfacing
I have removed the person’s identity as they are still going through this and the problem is not with the surgeon – but with Smith & Nephew and their BHR.
I discovered your blog via ‘flipboard’ on my ipad following tweets that mention metal-on-metal hips.
I started looking for answers to my many questions after my surgeon told me a couple of weeks ago that my Smith & Nephew, Birmingham Hip re-surfacing would require revision.
I am 49 years old and my surgery was nine years ago in XXXXX, Australia and for most of that time I have suffered flu-like symptoms including aching joints, headaches, lethargy and a general feeling of malaise.
I have been to General Practitioners and specialists including a rheumatologist and haematologist.
Not one of them has suspected it could be caused by my chromium cobalt hip, despite raised ESR and detection of abnormal proteins (cryoglobulin).
After ruling out lymphoma my haematologist diagnosed my condition as a “non-specific autoimmune disorder” and for about twelve months prescribed prednisolone, methotrexate and plaquenil. There was no change to my symptoms.
By late 2009 my hip had become very painful. X-rays showed the prosthesis in place with no bone damage but the MRI showed thickening of the synovium. I underwent a synovectomy in Feb 2010 to trim the thickened synovium. This surgery successfully relieved my pain.
A couple of weeks ago I had a scheduled follow up with my surgeon. The hip has been pain free but I have developed a large lump mid thigh. MRI showed fluid and debris around the joint. I asked the radiographer to scan the lump as well. It was made up of he same fluid and debris as the hip joint.
My surgeon took a sample of the fluid for pathology and ordered the chromium cobalt blood test. He then recommended revision surgery using the de-puy ceramic on ceramic prosthesis.
I have a few questions:
- Do you think we will see cases brought against Smith & Nephew (for the Birmingham Hip) like those currently being brought against Johnson & Johnson, and would a class action be likely to follow?
- Do you know anything about the de-puy ceramic on ceramic total hip prosthesis?
- While I have top private medical insurance, this unanticipated revision surgery will leave me out of pocket. Is there anything to gain/lose by asking my surgeon, his assistant and anesthetist to keep there fees within the health fund schedule?
Here is my reply
Answering your questions
Technorati Tags: Birmingham Hip Replacement, Chrome Poisoning , Chronic Pain, Cobalt Chrome, Cobalt Ions, Cobalt Poisoning, DePuy Hip Recall Litigation, FDA, FDA Hip Recall, Hip failure, Hip Pain, Hip recall, Hip Replacement, Hip Resurfacing, Hip Revision, Metal Hypersensitity, Metal Ions, Metal on Metal Hips, Metallosis, MoM hips, Smith & Nephew, Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, BHR
Howard Sadwin said:
I read Earl”s message re: Smith & Nephew, Birmingham Hip victem. I only hope that you can remedy your problem without enduring ongoing pain and discomfort.
I have also researched, as a lay person, these new innovated plastic hip devices. I haven’t found satisfactory answers to many questions. As far as I can tell none of these new products have disclosed proper information as to the worse case scenarios by using their devices. Example: what happens when friction causes the plastic particles to enter our bodies? We are now seeing the dissaster of the metal on metal shavings entering our bodies, what about plastic?
The more Smith & Nephew victewms speak up the better off we all may be when a day of reckoning comes.
Who knows maybe someone, will get a wake up call and change the good old 510k plan of approving these devices.
Wish you well
In the scientific articles I have reviewed from the 1960’s onwards there is ample evidence that the plastic wear particles always cause osteolysis around the hip but these are not toxic like the metal particles, although there is tissue damage. The new plastics seem to perform much better but are not so good with active 40 – mid 50’s patients who still want to lead an active life with young families like me!
The other problem we face with revisions is that each time they operate the less time the next hipnis likely to last. Sone people end up with multiple revisions and this is one of the legal claims being made; it is not just the pain and suffering now but the fact that there will need to be more operations than we would ave expected before we finally fall off the perch! So the medical companies will have to cough up for future pain & suffering and increased medical bills above what would have been the normal expectation.
Christy Webb-Gibson said:
Help, please. I am a 57 year old woman who was in much better shape prior to my BHR done in Hong Kong 2007. I had seizures the first 3 nights, then refused Demerol which some sites say can cause seizures. No seizures but jolts down my back for months after.
My R hip is “flat as a pancake” according to Pilates trainer, personal trainer and chiropractor.
My R side feels very weak.
I get winded easily, doing very little.
I feel “sick”, flu type unwellness, often
Dizzy or poor equilibrium, not blood pressure related.
And anxiety is my new friend.
Yesterday I had an x-ray of the hip because my Chromium and Cobalt levels are 10 times over the safe range.
I have also requested more blood work since my red blood cell tests were out of the “safe range”, in 2007/2008 and 2009. Not sure what ,if any, correlation there is.
I left HK , and moved to Canada and have only recently gotten medical coverage .
Am just restarting this investigative proccess to my pain, but even worse, the weakness on my right side.
I believe most of my symptoms are related to excess blood levels.
NOBODY considered any of my weird post surgery symptoms to have anything to do with this possibility of metal leaching and at times i’ve felt a bit “crazy”and very frustrated.
Anyway… will save worrying for later. I will see the toxologist in a few weeks.I have no orthoepedic specialist here. My docs are in HK and we are in touch.
Good to vent.
Christy. Do you have a DePuy hip ?
You need to have the hip replaced immediately.
I just had my S&N THR replaced and before I felt like you.
Your insurance co should have a list of surgeons but I will get a friend to contact you who will know.
Check out http://tophipsurgeons.com.
Failing that. A trip back to HK?
Stay in touch
I selected a ceramic on ceramic hip revision system (Zimmer) and my personal experience of it to date is absolutely fantastic – way more range of pain free movement than I had before.
I can actually imagine getting back to golf one day!
Vicky Marlow said:
It sounds to me like something terribly went wrong with your surgery. If you can email me your x-rays in jpeg format and make sure they are compressed, just follow the detailed instructions here
I can get you some opinions from some world class surgeons at no charge. I realized some of the earlier posts on this threas are very old but I have to say that I strongly disagree with a lot of what was said in those. Your case sound like a very malpositioned component. ANY component placed completely wrong is going to cause major problems, no matter what it is made out of. Do you kow how many resurfacings your surgeon had done when yours was done? I am originally from Hong Kong myself and now live in CA. If your levels are really high then you need to get a revision sooner rather than later. But please, find out the cause of it. Do not blame the wrong reason. There are MANY of us extremely happy patients with well functioning well placed BHR devices and our metal levels are completely normal. Surgeon selection is a key. Now in a VERY small percentage, like less than 1/2 of 1% of patients end up with a true metal allergy but the majority of the time, problems arise due to surgeon error. Let me know if I can be of any help. Earl knows how to contact me and has my email address if you want to email me directly.
Volunteer Patient Advocate
Join the new Hip Resurfacing Site Patient message board!
This is my first time on this Blog.
I had Dual BHR’s done at the same time back in 2007. After shortly after I starting having similar symptoms (vertigo, ringing in ear, rash, depression anxiety) which my doctor seem to mask effectively with anti depressents. I went crazy trying to find other answers but didn’t realize that these could possible be a by product of the surgery with the BHR’s. Has anyone have these symptoms. I’m going to head to the doctor next week to have my bloodwork on this. I have had no pain in my hips but have had these other side effects. Has anyone else had these problems/experiences.
Camille Petrillo said:
I do think your vertigo and tinnitus, and other apparently neurological symptoms are related to the MoM implant. As I had written in an earlier post, I never had any pain with my right 2005 BHR until six years later. I am presently recovering from my revision surgery end of February. I did have severe vertigo, vasovagal syncope, where everything would spin, and I was just on the verge of losing consciousness, but, I fought it in every way. I had a series of these attacks for weeks at a time–nearly always in the evening, but during the day, I was rehearsing a modern dance production, which was incredibly rigourous–lots of inversion, climbing on ropes, turning, kicks, the works. We had extensive rehearsal. At day, I was dancing, and felt lots and lots of clicking in the joint. I am thinking tons of ions were releasing, and I would suffer for it at night, I don’t know. Can’t find trigger. I did, during the day, develop a VERY dry and nagging cough, and my G.P. was thinking it was an airborn allergy since we practiced outside. The attacks were soooo scary. One, I ended up in the ER. Then, I got an endoscopy for the dry cough, the G.I. sent me to an allergist for a litany of REALLY expensive blood tests, both specialists and the cat scan, heart test, blood and urine tests in ER showed nothing. Then the allergist recommended a neurologist, and I just said, “Stop the Specialists.” My G.P. put me on a minute dosage of valium, and I was concluding it was anxiety-driven, though I had no reason to have any anxiety in my life. Eventually the episodes stopped, and since I had no pain in my hip, I never for a moment thought it may be coming from high cobalt/chromium levels, since I had never had my blood tested for metals. Nearly two years later, the acute pain began in the BRS, and I got a few severe vertigo attacks. I finally had my blood metals tested when I saw a BHR specialist, and they were 37-60 times above normal. I am petite and weight 90 lbs. I had severe metallosis, much bone grating in the pelvis, due to bone loss from the corrosion, and am recouping, and neurologically, I feel completely different. My eyes had been burry over the years and my vision had changed. I don’t remotely feel like I could have one of those vertigo attacks. It makes me livid doctors cannot admit that extremely elevated chromium/cobalt blood levels, are not poisoning other and all systems of the body other than the obvious ones in side the infected joint capsule. My recommendation is to get your BHR’s out of your body ASAP!. Please keep us posted. What did your blood tests reveal? Best of Luck to you, Camille
Hi Howard, I appreciate your support. It seems we are all in the same boat and are lucky to have someplace like ‘earlesview blog’ to gather the groundswell necessary to take them on and be informed.
Good evening gentlemen,
I have another S&N horror story to publish tomorrow. Family just returned from NZ and so have been spending tine with them.
We will work together and I am sure over the coming months we will unearth a lot more suffering and heartache.
I also had to replace a Smith and Nephew BHR. After the first year I started to have pain in the hip. Went on for about 6 months and was told a revision was needed. Did that. It works but recently developed a high pitch squeak from the ceramic/metal replacement. Any action on Smith and Nephew joints. Their data say no problems but my hip and wallet say otherwise. Still paying off the second surgery over a year later. No on has called to say they are sorry.
Thant is very interesting – I think that Smith & Nephew are lucky that no one has provided a forum to date – but in the short time this blog has been around I have come across a lot of S&N problems which I suspect are the tip of the iceberg.
Howard Sadwin said:
I agree with you Earl, I spoke to another Smith and Nephew patient She is going through pain and suffering. I suggested she visit your site and perhaps share her story. Folks keep coming forward and ackowledging your hip or knee problems. Don’t feel embarassed, don’t feel like you are complaining when disscussing your hip or knee problems: remember the more you stand on your feet and speak up, the better chance we will have at changing an old inadequate system and the less we will cower down to Market Share & Financing (medical device manufacturers)
Yes – we will have quite a strong group shortly.
I had a BHR in February 2001. In 2003 I had an autoimmune reaction and was admitted to hospital and was put on steroids. Since then I never regained the energy I had enjoyed, felt fatigued easily and my hip became more and more painful.
The only thing eventually diagnosed was a cyst which they said was too dangerous to aspirate. I was in so much pain I couldn’t turn in bed, had dififculty climbing stairs to name but a few of the problems I had along with clicking, clunking and squeaking.
Eventually in 2007 I saw another consultant who said the “hip wasn’t right for my anatomy” (congenital dislocation of hip). He removed the BHR and replaced it with a ceramic one THR.
Though my hip is a lot better I am not pain free and on top of all of this I still experience flu like symptoms and fatigue. I have this year had several cobalt chromium tests and been diagnosed with chromium poisoning and am now waiting to see a toxicologist.
I am not surprised to hear this – doctors have a great way of talking in absolutes – and they all disagree with each other.
As they say “science exists by disproving science”.
You story shows the critical need to get a second opinion but often this is easier said than done.
I cannot believe that a cyst would be be too dangerous to operate on – as was eventually proved by the second surgeon.
I suspect from what you have told me that the first hip with its large femoral head and cup was “impinging” or rubbing on surrounding muscle and this was generating pain and eventually wear of the joint and the other symptoms. The squeaking suggests that the joint was not being lubricated by synovial fluid as would be expected – and the dry rubbing of the joint could likely have produced greater wear and the metal ion poisoning.
I am having my Birmingham Spectron metal on metal hip removed next week and a ceramic on ceramic hip put in – next year I will get the left hip done with ceramic on ceramic too.
You sound like you are on the right track.
I wish you every success in your forthcoming surgery.
The damage caused by the BHR was catastrophic. My symptoms started in 2003 and the metal implant wasn’t removed until 2007, during which time the metal ions were doing their worst. The information regarding ALVAL wasn’t known then.
From what I have read it is imperative that the moment metal ion sensitivity is believed to be a problem the implant should be removed as quickly as possible not left for several years more as was in my case.
I am interested to learn whether the problem was caused by the BHR not being fitted at the correct angle which I understand is critical with this implant. If I were to post a picture of my X-ray of the BHR would anyone be able to tell whether indeed it was fitted at the correct angle?
in my experience (not with a BHR) but with a Birmingham Spectron, the Total Hip replacement version, the X-rays can look OK but the wear and tear is still there and the cobalt ions building up in your system.
My understand is that the ideal angle is 42 degrees but less than 50 seems OK for some.
So hip angle can look OK but the damage is still being done.
There is a friend in North America, Barbara Ford, and she has congenital hip displaysia and is onto her 5th hip replacement this week – the BHR’s did not work for her at all. You can contact her on Facebook but not this week as she is recovering from the latest hip replacement she had last Tuesday.
I am off to the surgeon today for my final check before surgery on Thursday.
Ray Zakarian said:
I too am having problems with my BHR. I beleive I have a Smith & Nephew device as well. I had my surgery in 2007. I’ve had problems with groin pain from the beginning. Tried PT several times, cortisone injections and nothing seemed to help. In July 2011 my right leg went numb from the hip to my ankle and I developed a chronic cough that will not go away. I visited the surgeon last week and had an MRI, Blood work and had the hip aspirated. They found fluid in the joint, mri showed fluid all around the hip and the blood work came back with 9 colbalt and 11 chromium reading. Surgeons want to operate asap and put a plastic/ceramic hip in. I am very concerned about the chronic cough. I can’t find to much about asthama/Metallosis reslationship.
I am suppose to hear from the Surgeon on Tuesday 9/6/2011
I agree with the surgeon regarding the need to come out ASAP.
I have got a similar cough with blood in the phlegm.
I just had my hip replaced last Thursday and when for the Zimmer ceramic on ceramic system. It was a big operation but I am recovering well. You can read the details in my last 2 posts.
I wouldn’t worry too much about definitively tying the cough to the metallosis but it could well be an outcome. It does affect the lungs and I have had increasing breathlessness. If you search my site there’s a really good review of the problems with metallosis.
I think get it out and while I like the ceramic on ceramic better the plastic on ceramic but it may suit you
Thanks for the reply. I cough has me really concerned. I can’t sleep at night and it seems to be triggered by enviormental changes ie hot to cold. It came the same time the numbness in my leg started. My GP has taken xrays, bloodwork, etc and cannot find anything. So I guess I am hoping it is related to the hip.
Yes it may well be but the only way to remove the chromium and cobalt is to do the replacement. Doctors could spend the next two years arguing about the cough and it’s causes.
Howard Sadwin said:
I had nurses put a do not disturb sign on my door, until 7 AM
Laurel Mengarelli said:
I had a BHR in August 2008. felt fine until September 2009 when I started having all kinds of odd medical problems. chest pain with tachycardia, shortness of breath with flu-like symptoms, finally random swelling of finger joints and pain in my feet. All of these were worked up by cardiology, rheumatology and my internist. Every test came back normal. In the fall of 2010, I started having pain in the BHR hip. This got my attention, but I lived with it until spring of 2011 when I finally went to see my original surgeon. I did have metal ion levels drawn before the visit and they were elevated. His attitude after an x-ray that was “perfect” was that my pain was coming from my back. That my metal testing hadn’t been done in the right lab so the results were not reliable. After much pushing on my part he agreed to repeat the metal levels and order an MRI of my hip and back. The results came back, the metal levels even hight than before and the MRI of my hip showing fluid and debris. I never had the MRI of my back. At this point in time the surgeon agreed there could be a problem with the prosthesis and that it warranted watching. It happens that both myself and my husband are in medicine so we pulled out all resources and spoke to experts in the field, everyone agreeing that the implant had to come out. I sought the opinion of another surgeon (with lots of reparative experience) and the only logical solution seemed to be to have a total hip replacement with a prosthesis that was not metal on metal. He felt strongly that I had metallosis from the prosthesis. On August 15th I had a revision of my BHR to a ceramic on “plastic” total hip.
I too believe there are many more people out there with BHR’s that are problematic with vague symptoms and confusing presentations of metalllosis.
Why am I not surprised. Another story confirming some surgeons just refuse to see the obvious!
You are two weeks ahead of me. How is your recovery. Mine is going quite well and I am sitting in the surgeons waiting room as I type this. Day 26 today!
It seems such an uphill battle against the big company’s !
frances samosa said:
I had a BHR in May2008. I was signed of in Nov 2009. In the February I was ill and could not get to see my doctor as two where ill and one on hol. I went away with my knee swollen, back pain, hip pain and could not get out of bed as abdominal pain was too much. I was also going to toilet 3/4 times a night (still am). I have had tingling, pins and needles, deadness in hand and legs to feet. I have been sent for scans on bladder, ovaries, uterus,kidneys. Before I got these I got home from hols and doc gave me pain killers for 4 wks. I was in agony. Went to see another doc and he said I had a bad idney infection and so sent me for kidney scan. Then I had the other scans. I also have been gone over with a tuning fork. When I got back from hols I had a letter from surgeon. He said “we have put the wrong metal in some peoples hips” (wait for it) “but NOT yours”. I had two lots of physio and one to ask if I could have pain killer injections. Answer was NO. I then went to see a lady doctor who sent me for a MRI Scan and 5 blood tests, they came back normal. In the end I ask my doctor to send me to some one who deals in putting these hips in. (As my surgeon said he had to keep an ey on me for the next 5 years, but hospital closed down and never heard a thing)(Why did he have to keep and eye on me if he hadn’t put the wrong metal in????)I got to see a registrar and he sent me for an intense MRI Scan, and 2 bloods (cobalt and Chronium) They came back positive. I have trouble sleeping, can’t turn over. I also one night was lying on my good hip when something woke me up so quick, it was if something had fallen from my right hip to my left hip. Maybe it can’t ?? but I think something might have snapped as my new surgeon said the femural head was too big and infected. I am always tired, blurry eye vision, bad sleep, pain in back, Bhr side and other side, pain down legs. I feel disgusted in the whole thing. I go for my op on 20th September. Heres hoping I feel better after it.
Howard Sadwin said:
There are more people out there that should identify and communicate regarding problems they are experiencing via Smith & Nephew’s BHR.
Earl’s blog has provided a great vehicle of information,and contacts.
I don’t think Smith & Nephew will have any where near the litigation as will DePuy, or Johnson&Johnson, etc. However there are definetly people that have genuine issues, with Smith & Nephew’s BHR.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of acknowledging each other, BHR patients that are suffering. If you plan on going to court, your attorney will need the help of other attorney’s representing you vs. Smith & Nephew.
Remember, David and Goliath.
Alison Russell said:
Hi Earl I have just been to my hospital for an x ray as they have told me that they are recalling all their birmingham hip patients to test chromium and cobalt levels in the blood. I am still waiting for my results. I had my BHR Smith& Nephew fitted in November 2007 and have been doing some research and have found that S&N have recalled some patients and they have recalled certain acetabular cups and sent out this following letter to the hospitals:
Smith & Nephew have been informed that the above devices may have been miss – labelled. The product packaging for the notified complaint was for a 54 mm BHR Acetabular Cup, however inside was a 50mm Acetabular Cup. One more device has also been positively identified as being the reverse of this.
An evaluation has been performed in -house and has determined that the devices are likely to cause a risk of adverse health consequences to the patient through the necessity for revision surgery. Due to the mismatch in size of the Femora l and Acetabular devices this may lead to elevated metal ion levels and or metalosis. Smith & Nephew are therefore recalling the above mentioned pro ducts to physically verify their status.
A number of the devices in the table below have been identified as being implanted. Smith & Nephew have contacted all of the surgeons and Hospitals which are affected by this recall. This will enable Smith & Nephew and the surgeons involved to review the patient X- rays and verify the status of the se devices.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency have been informed of this recall.
This is particularly alarming as this letter was dated June 2007 yet my hip resurfing was performed in November 2007 and yes I was fitted with a 74120150 faulty labeled acetabular cup. I am now looking at having a revision and do not even know the best thing to replace it with. Also I am actively still playing netball and have been told if you have a full hip replacement they are normally only expected to last about 10-12 years and if you continue to do sport it can reduce the longevity of your hip replacement by many years and that you can only have a maximum of two revisions not that I can face having even one.
I am really fed up and want to also know how I find out if there are any class actions already against Smith & Nephew?
Alison (age 50) from the UK
That is very interesting – they are starting to feel the heat and so they should as DePuy seems to have copied their hip resurfacing device in the first place….
I was aware of the other recall – who knows if that was the truth or it was a cover up for something else. With so much at stake it seems that many of the orthopaedic companies are economical with the truth.
No class action – yet….
I think you are right – when you buy a car,which costs about the same as a hip operation, you get a 1 – 5 year warranty – the orthopaedic companies should be responsible and put together a “revision fund” for the 1 – 5 year failures so there is a safety net.
At the moment we pay for the new vehicle but there is no warranty, no free service, no after sales care at all.
Vicky Marlow said:
One other thing folks, what device do you know of that has zero problems?? Come on! There is nothing wrong with metal on metal device IF the surgeon places your component RIGHT. I am living proof, going on six years with my left BHR and just went back to get my right one done nine months ago. I am sorry all of you are having problems, but just check out a THR only support group and you will find the majorityy of patient having 2 3 and 4 revision surgeries and I guess that is to be expected with THR’s. Yes, a VERY small percentage is going to have a metal allergy but a LOT of surgeons are blaming that as the cause when in fact it is POOR placement of the device. Come on, let’s take a Ferrari, if you get a technichian that places or doesn’t connect the engine or transmission right in it, the driver drives it and it blows up, are you going to blame all the Ferraris out there? I think not, it was the technicians fault.
I agree that all of you are having REAL problems, but get to the ROOT of the problem instead of automatically blaming metal on metal implants. There are tons of us out here that are very happy with our very well placed metal on metal BHR’s placed by a SKILLED and experienced surgeon. But to make a blanket statement that all metal on metal is bad, I think that is reaching for the stars here. Yes, there were two defective implants, the Zimmer Durom and the Depuy ASR, but the failure rates are sky high on those, and the ASR got recalled around 7 years! The BHR has been out for over 14 years, if there was a problem they would have recalled it by now! Heck the first prototype was implanted back over 20 years ago. They would NOT allow a poorly designed implant to stay on the market, not when the overall success rates are REALLY high on it. I am very sorry that those of you are having problems, and I am happy to help anyone that needs help, I can email your x-rays to find out what the REAL problem is, I know I certainly would want to know.
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Paul Taylor said:
Just thought i would sig-in and add to this thread.
I had a Birmingham Hip Replacement in March 09, and within the last year have had serious pain issues with the hip. My pain levels at present are far beyond that when i had the original failed hip joint.
The surgeon is worried that there is a buildup of metalic materal around the hip joint, as this apparently can cause pain.
2 weeks ago i had a special blood test, and today i had 2 CT scans. So now i await to see my surgeon in November to find out whats going on.
Thanks for the note. Regardless of the various test outcomes you will have metallosis, tissue damage and bone loss and damage as I did. Some of us are just more sensitive to any wear particles.
I had pain from the first year on but kept hoping it would get better. However, the pain was there for a reason. To tell me my tissues and femur were being destroyed. My cobalt serum levels only got to twice normal but I didn’t have fluid build up. Rather I had a “dry” decay and the pain was like arthritis and as time went on head ache, migraines and nausea were there 100% each day.
This all went away after the revision. I feel 10 times better than I ever did and despite post surgical pain the range of movement is better than it ever was with the Smith & Nephew.
You will feel better once you have your revision. I went for a Zimmer ceramic on ceramic and it feels great!
Paul, I too am in the UK, in Wiltshire actually. Would be good to swap contact if thats possible through this site and maybe offer a bit of support this side of the pond so to speak.
Paul Taylor said:
Remove the REMOVETHIS bit. Did that to stop spammers.
Sylina Baron said:
I know this is a very old post but as I am also in Reading would love to get in contact to discuss the operations. I had my BHR done in 2009 at RBH under Mr Andrade. I’m having really bad symptoms but feel like I’m being ignored.
Sylina Baron, Reading, UK
I am so glad that I found this site. I also had a Birmingham hip manufactured by smith & nephew put in. My surgery date was Feb. 21st, 2008. Within the first few months this thing was making all kinds of clunking and clinking. I told the surgeon about it, he took some x-rays and said it looked fine and all that noise was normal. As time passed and the pain came back as if it was never even done, actually worse. I was kind of pre informed about having metal levels checked. I kept asking my primary to do a cobalt test, kept asking him for a year and a half and he gave me every excuse y it wasn’t getting done. During this time my vision started to go, hearing, got vertigo, my chest stays constantly congested inspite of being put on all different kinds of antibiotics, steroids and nothing worked. Told the doc this is another symptom of cobalt poisoning. As time went on I complained of shortness of breath, severe headaches, joint pain all over the place, my kidneys ached which he said was a back ache cuz the way I walked. Loss of appetite, fatigue, anxiety, numbness of hands, arms, legs, feet. My head goes numb, can’t focus on thinking, confusion, balance, sleepless and other ailments. Once I showed him a few articles on cobalt poisoning and the symptoms that were listed compared to what I complained about for almost 2 years he finally did the test. Once he got the results he couldn’t call me up quick enough. Now he’s scheduling me for immediately surgery. I guess my levels are high enough where it can cause me to stop making red blood cells. My level is 37.2 Does any one know how high these levels can go and where do I stand and how toxic am I ? If my doc would’ve done this test a while
Sorry my last part got cut off, some times I have no control on what my body does. My hand jerked and sent my comment. But If my doc would’ve had this test done a while ago I don’t think I would be in this predictament , I’ve heard what Eva damage is done is done, its irreversible. Please email me if its allowed. Billegram@gmail.com
Paul Taylor said:
Well it was confirmed today, i have Metallosis.
Swelling of the surrounding hip tissues caused by the hip joint.
Given the extreeme pain i am in presently, they are treating this as a urgent case.
I will be brought into surgery within the next few weeks for the BHR to be removed, and replaced with a conventional Ceramic unit.
Given the way i feel right now, i cannot wait !.
PS: The surgeon admitted they had seem quite a few BHR’s like mine. Some people have no issues and are fine, and some reject them.
Reading, Berkshire. UK.
So good news is bad news. Believe me you are going to love your new ceramic on ceramic hip! I have a major love affair with mine!
Good luck and keep us posted.
If you want to write a diary and can get a few photos I will publish it.
Paul Taylor said:
Just an update.
Over December and into Christmas my hip pain from my left BHR has got even worse.
I am now marking my pain as 8/10 and is pretty much unbearable. Enough to bring tears to my eyes. I would say it is as bad as the day after the BHR Operation.
Even considering going to Casualty at the moment (Emergency Room),
I am also getting a numb feeling in both my feet, not just my left one.
I have just emailed my Surgeon asking for an update on the date for my BHR revision.
Reading, Berkshire, UK.
That is dreadful – do you have a date for the revision or is it just being talked about?
You may need to go to ER – I did three times before I finally had my revision – or you can go to your doctor and get some Endone or Oxycontin which are a synthetic opioid – they will take away the pain in the short term.
What do your X-rays look like? Is there any apparent reason why you have this problem – was there a lack of alignment that lead to the wear? Has part of the hip come loose as it had in my case (the femoral stem)?
By the sound of it there should be considerable tissue and bone damage evident on the X-rays.
Best suggestion at present – ring your surgeon every minute of the day until you get some action. Plan B – get some strong pain killers from your GP. Failing that camp in ER until they take you seriously.
Bryan Vroman said:
I had my right hip replaced with a metal on metal S&N BHR in Feb 2009. I have had nothing but problems with it starting a week after surgery to this very day. First starting with clicking, then to squeaking and now grinding. I had the hip replaced when I was 26 (Im now 28) due to RA and was walking bone on bone. With the pain and problems from the BHR, I honestly felt better before I had it replaced. I had a total hip replacement of my left hip March 2011 with a J&J ceramic on plastic and to this day that hip clicked only once and over all I have had no issues with it. I had blood work done before the left hip was replaced and my ion levels are high but x-rays and MRI’s dont really show to much. My surgion says that a revision surgery may take away some of my mobility and being 28 he does not want to see that happen. I am at a loss, I have contacted 2 law firms this year and because I do not have a J&J implant they will not pick up my case. So what do I do…suffer?
The clicking and grinding suggests that a very poor job was done and the BHR is way out of alignment. The bloods indicate that the wear is producing metial ions and these will be destroying your bone and surrounding tissue, whether you feel it or not. It is only a matter of time. And the more damage that is done the harder it will be for the revision to succeed. That is the knock on effect. So because of your age they will want to minimise the number of operations but if you don’t get it out soon the damage from the high metal ions will be worse.
Like you I had S&N and there are no law firms taking on S&N at this time because not too many people have come forward.
So the best bet is to get a sympathetic surgeon who understands that normal BHR’s do not click and grind and produce high metal ions.
Your current surgeon is right to be cautious because of your age and the invasiveness of the revision – but I can tell you that getting my S&N out was the best thing I ever did and my range of movement is way better with the new Zimmer revision system ceramic on ceramic.
I would suggest that a second opinion is called for if you cannot get your current surgeon to understand the problems associated with metallosis and poorly positioned hip prosthesis. If he is the surgeon that did the BHR then he may have his head in the sand and be trying to cover his own butt! Check if he is receiving “payments” from S&N – many surgeons get paid large sums by the orhtopaedic companies for promoting and using their products. This morally compromises them.
You sound like you will need to get a second opinion and some urgent action.
Bryan Vroman said:
The surgeon that did the BHR has pretty much backed out of the picture and sent me to a revision specialist, this new surgeon replaced my left hip. To be honest it made me feel very uneasy that my original surgeon was just backing away like that, I have been with him for 10-12 years.My new surgeon seems to care a little bit more but trying to get a straight answer from him is like pulling teeth. What also makes things even harder is my age and because of my age not to many doctors want to listen. I walked bone on bone for 2 years on the right side and 4 years on the left side. I am very use to the pain and because I am not going to the doctors with tears running down my face that means I am not having these problems with the BHR. Yeah thats right I am making it up so I can go through another fun filled surgery! It really is like fighting a losing battle with doctors and any kind of legal action. Being 28 it does feel like they took years out of my life that I will never get back. I can only hope that more people who are having problems with there BHR start to come forward soon.
it is amazing how we get treated like cattle (worse actually). Once they have the fee we are sent away to the next paddock to be fodder for the next surgeon! You are right, I can see you really wanting to line up for another replacement and faking the pain to get it – Puleeese… doesn’t anyone get the fact that it really hurts and we don’t fake the pain.
I am lucky that my revision is improving so well but I have resorted to voltaren due to my other hip which is killing me at present. It should have been replaced this year but the revision mucked that up!
Anyway – try to have a great New Years Eve!
All the best,
Paul Taylor said:
Thanks for your reply.
Its great to know with all the good work you are doing here, that i am not alone.
Unfortunately here in the UK i am at the mercey of our free Health Service, the NHS.
Typically for a hip replacement operation you would have to wait 4 to 5 months in my area of the country.
However my surgeon has marked my case as urgent and i should only have to wait a few weeks. That being said, i was told that 3 weeks ago.
My CT Scans showed very little, other than the BHR joint was fine and positioned correctly.
Which is probably true, since the joint moves fine, alltohugh there is pain when pushed to further limits.
As i am typing this my left leg it totally numb, and if i put my foot on the floor, i cannot feel the carpet. This seems to be happening more and more often now.
In the UK you cannot directly speak to your doctor, you have to go to your local family doctor who will then make contact with your surgeon or consultant.
Luckily i found a whitepaper online which was written by my surgeon, and it had his email address on it, thus i have been able to contact him directly.
I read with interest, your comment re Surgeons getting paid by medical supply companies. Since i have found this.
This is my Surgeon, Tony Andrade, on a website owned by Smith & Nephew
how is the pain going? Any progress with the surgeon?
Try and have a great New Years!
Paul Taylor said:
No update as yet. Everyone is still on their Christmas holidays.
Today has been a bad day for pain. Spent the entire day in bed with 2 hot water bottles. 1 On each hip.
Happy New Year in spite of the pain!
Have you thought of going to hospital ER – at least they could put you on some sensible pain relief and make you more comfortable? I certainly would.
All the best,
Howard Sadwin said:
Great to see the activity pick up re: metal on metal hip devices, and yes they can be hazardous to your health, although Vicky Marlow has several valid points Smith and Nephew have some good products, devices on the market that have save or helped thousands of people.
However they used a device that’s materials were not compatible.Introducing
a foreign body into our bodies doesn’t work all the time, people’s bodies do not always accept the new body part. Resultingly, a condition can take place within the hip patients that causes the loss of all the tissue or severally damages,deteriorates other tissue and muscle that once supported my hip.
Yes Vicky there are more success stories via BHR,and that is great, there are more and more people coming forward with BHR problems. Some may be human error,some maybe from unexpected fall, some because not compatible with some humans.
The number of these people is increasing, in time you will see cases filed.
In 2004, the BHR was denied approval in the USA through a pma program. There was a single patient group supplying all the statistical research data, this group was from out of this country, McMinn one of the BHR inventors worked for Smith+Nephew, and he reportedly was payed $50 million dollars more or less once the BHR was approved. Plus the application was missing other required information. So the device was turned down. The FDA also expressed concern regarding metal particles in our bodies what would the outcome be.
In 2006 using all the same data used in the pma approval attempt of 2004 the BHR was approved in the USA. The approval did have stipulations: one I recall had Smith+Nephew reporting every 6 months as new things learned re: metal on metal shavings entering the human body.
Vicky I don’t understand your 14 years of use, not in this country if got its approval in 2006.
I don’t think any medical device manufacturer could give you much data about these new hips. How long to they work, limitations, can they cause harm to one’s health, including the materials used as being the bad guy.
BHR came into our market place when DePuy,ASR,Stryker, etc. were having problems with their metal on metal hip devices, so it was an opoprtune time to market a new and greatest hip, BHR. The data could have easily been tainted considerating the times. Smith+Nephew paid part of a $311 million dollar fine along with 4 other large device manufacturers. Payment of the fine stopped the Federal Government from pursuing a case involving kickback payments, to doctors, hospitals,distributors etc. some of these bonuses were vactions (hunting,fishing) cars, house, low interest loans. Several of these same companies got caught again. Now the FEDS are investigating PODS, a means or vehicle used to pay other parties indirectly.
You all must get yourselfs well and strong first, then tackle the giants if you had or have a valid claim.
Be patient this will be tough, on you even moreso than what you are going through now. Don’t get down in a whole sometimes we feel a little sorry for ourselves because of what has happened to us physically, mentally,financially,family and what has happened to me as an individual.
How wonderful to find this site as it has reassured me that I am not alone in my suffering. In 2000 I was diagnosed with displastic hips and eventually (Jan 2002) had my first THR in Munich, Germany privately due to extensive waiting lists here. I have had no problems other than the occasional twinge. I believe is it a metal on plastic implant which is not used in the UK. By Jan 2006 I had my Birmingham Smith & Nephew resurfacment and had problems immediately. A stress fracture was diagnosed and I was advised it would heal eventually. By August I had a bone scan and was given an aspiration of the hip under general anthesetic which gave no relief. Although I had my ‘German’ hip to compare I just carried on with life. I often felt fluey, had pains in the groin, buttocks, abdomend and so on until Feb 2010 I asked the surgeon if there was a human WD40 that could be sprayed in (ironicly!). Xrays, blood counts, MRI and bone scans showed nothing and it was, I believe, the fact that the surgeon knew me, after 6 years of consultation, who could see the immense pain I was in, revised with a ceramic within two weeks in July 2010.
I was not given a blood test for colbalt or chromium. Neither was I told that I now have two 3 inch metal (!) screws holding in my new implant. I only discovered the extent of the discovery on opening me up as my BHR and samples of the groin tissue were sent to the Imperial College ‘London Implant Retrieval Centre’ which is funded by S&N, J&J etc. I had ‘chronic inflammation’ in the tissue which did not give results in culture tests aka ‘unkown’ my external rotator had detached from my pelvis which means basically all the muscles for standing walking etc were’nt working. Have subsequently discovered on pushing my surgeon that I have lost 25% of muscle and at the moment, some 18 months later feel it’s detached again because I hurt bad! My toes are stil numb, still pain in groin (not as bad as before but…) pain in buttock, pain around hip joint (as groin) and am now suffering from spine spurs and major pain in lower spine. I am about to have tests for this and it must be related one way or other. Have recently started to get swollen fingers and have been breathless and had bowel problems since 2006. The thing is it’s hard to know what bits are just about ageing!
It appears that the MHRA,FDA and other countries differing medical authorities, coupled with information from sugeons, etc., are all being very cagey and holding back info. I therefore agree somewhat with the posting about backhanders from the manufacturers. Derek McCann one of the inventors of BHR is admitting on his site that colbalt and chromium can stay in the blood for two years. Basically they are finding out as we all suffering where they should have researched more before using millions as guinea pigs.
Anyone is welcome to contact me for more info/share on firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish all suffering a better New Year.
You are definitely not alone! There are a lot of people coming forward each week who have problems with their BHR’s from Smith & Nephew. And others like me who had problems with the total hip replacement metal on metal S&N put out. Seems displasia was the root of my hip problems too.
It amazes me that so many surgeons treat their patients like mushrooms (keep them in the dark and feed them bullshit). Do they think we are idiots. My first surgeon treated me like an idiot but thankfully my surgeon who did the revision is not only a great surgeon, he is down to earth and very open on all details and very commonsense. We need more surgeons like him!
But back to your issues which are horrendous, it sounds like a lot of physio will be required to rebuild the muscle?
I am not surprised to hear the cobalt and chromium stay in the body but I would have thought that the bulk of it was removed when the revision was done as it was in my case? I felt better almost immediately and my bone is regrowing really well. The two bone grafts were a success. So it seems all the local metal ion poison was removed. But you had your hip in longer than me. Mine was only 3 years of trouble versus your 6 years. So maybe you have more residue? Getting your surgeon or GP to arrange cobalt and chromium blood tests would give some infications whether your symptoms are metal poisoning or some other disease process. Have you been tested for rheumatoid arthritis?
I will publish your story tomorrow and let’s see what others think?
Stay in touch please,
Hi Earl, thanks for a prompt response. I asked my surgeon last Sept for a metal blood test which was refused! Am about to undergo tests for oesteopartosis (sorry can’t spell it!) and am seeing back specialists on 16th Jan. Have had 5 months of hydrotherapy but muscle and tissue doesn’t grow back. I have heard that some peoples muscles and bone have completely wasted and they are now bed ridden for life. Althought I know I had bone grafts I have no idea to what extent.
Will keep in touch and many thanks for your info.
Kind regards Gayle
the surgeon is not acting in your best interests. Check to see which Orthopaedic Device company is paying him lots of money to consult.
You can get the blood tests via you local GP. He can request them if the surgeon won’t do it.
Sounds like the surgeon is giving you every test except the one that will show up the real problem. Seriously consider getting an honest surgeon.
You really need a second opinion – your GP should be able to arrange a referral?
All the best,
Bryan Vroman said:
You really are at the mercy of these surgeons because none of us are doctors. When I would go to PT after my right BHR, they could feel the clicking when they would move it and they had no clue what it could be. I go to see the surgeon a month after my replacement and he told me not to worry and the clicking was very normal and would go away in a month or 2. I went to see him again 6 months later for a follow up and complained about the clicking and pain in the joint. He told me I was to active. Hmmm, I thought that the BHR MoM was made for young active people? The S&N web page CLEARLY states that! I went to see the surgeon a year after the replacement and complained about the clicking and now squeaking and grinding. If its not squeaking and the room you are in is quiet and while I was standing on one foot I would swing my right leg forward and backward and the best way I can describe the sound comming from the BHR is the sound of sharpening a knife. When I said this to the surgeon he said “Oh, you must have seen the hip recall on the news. Dont worry you do not have that one in you.” 5 weeks before I had a THR on my left hip I had blood drawn to check for ions. The surgeon decides to tell me the results just as I am coming out of recovery and into my room while I am still druged up and out of it. Now that the surgeon who did my right BHR wants nothing to do with me and all of my files went to a revision specialist (he did my left THR) says, well start putting more weight on the left hip to relieve the stress on the right one. After awhile it all seems like one big game. Being only 28 years old, I am not ready to slow down or act like I am 50-60 years old. Thats all I want is to live life pain free and not worry what my BHR is doing. Is it to much to ask that doctors treat us like people and not like a number on a chart or a pay check? I really hope for all of us with S&N MoM hips get the answers we deserve and the help that we need so we can get our lives back.
Dear all, hope these links might help shed some light although it’s rather dim.
Paul Taylor said:
Great find, i had not found these articles below.
Thank you !.
Paul Taylor said:
My date for revision surgery has finally come through.
Once i am well enough, i will post an update on my progress here.
Great to hear! Not long now! All the best with it.
Terry L. Branham said:
I had bilateral BHR, chromium/cobalt Smith-nephew hip resurfacing in 2008. I also had PLIF, spinal fusion at levels L4, L5, and S1 in 2006. Since then, my legs and my hips and knees are always aching and sore. I can’t hardly walk agressively without getting sore for two to three days. I can’t seem to gain any muscle strength in my legs but each doctor wants to blame the other condition, not doctor, for my soreness and inability to gain strength. I am 50 years old and don’t want to continue like this. I have had to retire from education because of pain, soreness, and a inability to sleep. Anyone with suggestions! Also, my hip doctor has moved cross country and I have no Doctor at this time. Thanks in advance. Contact me at email@example.com. I live in Kentucky.
Camille Petrillo said:
I am another person coming forth, with my failed right hip BHR, performed Nov., 2005, before FDA approval (I am an American). I have always been an extremely athletic woman. I am now 52 years of age, and have had a career of long distance running, ultra-light sculling, modern dancing, and a very advanced yoga practice. My overall joint flexibility was off the charts–even post-op BHR, my lateral hip rotation was naturally retained. Very shortly into my 2005 resurfacing, clicking started, sometimes more excessive–it was definitely linked to my activity level. I wrote to my doctor, although out of the country, he has always responded to me, and given me his advice over the years–assessing xrays and the likes. He told me at the time to avoid all exercises exacerbating or perpetuating the clicking, and that swimming was best to strengthen all the necessary muscles and ligaments needed for rehab of the hip. I have also had my spine fused, L2-SI, a year after my BHR. With all this new, ‘restriction,’ I was still able to lead an active life–swimming a bit, turning to cycling for long-distance, dancing in modern dance productions, doing very mild yoga, and was even able to go out in active waters for an occasional, long-distance, sliding-seat row. No pain or discomfort in the hips, only in my back, from time to time. Yet, the clicking, some clunking, always lots of squeaking–only whilst squatting–was still present. And when I eased off, much of the clicking dissipated. Eight months ago, I started to feel pain in my left hip, same nagging groin pain, instability–as with the initial osteoarthritic signs which engulfed my right hip seven years ago. My x-rays were assessed–bilaterally–and I was told my left hip joint spaces were maintained. No one but my boyfriend, who is not in the medical field, detected an obvious narrowing in the entire femur neck of the resurfaced hip. Two months ago, I developed VERY acute pain for the first time in that resurfaced hip. I saw a local hip specialist who has done only about 35 BHR’s. We took new films, he still saw nothing, though my beau still did, and had to point it out to him! The doctor ordered an MRI of the resurfaced hip, and we all saw from the films, that in eight months, the left hip had become so severely arthritic, it was nearly bone on bone. But, I knew the right hip needed immediate attention. I sought out a more experienced–much, much more experienced–BHR and THR specialist from Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Metallosis was detected. My revision is planned on Feb. 29th. I do so hope surgery on Leap Year is a good omen! I was not privy to the fact that routine blood work was (or should indubitably be) essential for MoM implants–I was very ignorant to the fact that the BHR even fell into that category, though, I knew, of course, it was MoM. I just listened to all the hype about BHR being the, “Newer, Better, Surgery to Return People to their Previous Active Lifestyles.” I sympathise so much with all of you. Most of you have had symptoms much worse than my, just shortly after your resurfacing. I can presume from the years of clicking, my implant was wearing down, though I had no pain. I did, however begin having these odd vertigo, near vasovagal syncope attacks–I couldn’t detect a trigger for them. They began a year and a half ago, whilst dancing very actively in a performance. They only occurred at night, and I was tested in hospital and with specialists, for a litany of things (never blood metal toxicity, of course) and nothing was detected. It was assumed they were anxiety related. And they very well could be. They are extremely intermittent, and they had left for over a year, before returning just several weeks ago. Again, subliminally, I can be manifesting anxiety due to my imminent revision, but, since finding out only two weeks ago that I have severe tissue and bone loss due to metallosis, I’ve pondered would these episodes be related to the toxicity? (I plan on having my thyroid tested again, tomorrow.) The Prosthesis my surgeon wants to use is the oxinium ceramic/metal combo; poly cup. He did not tell me the manufacturer, but, based on some research, it appears to be the one manufactured by Smith and Nephew, and I am not quite sure how I feel about that. This all happened so quickly, and I have not had time to do proper research to feel this is MY choice, within MY control. My surgeon has his own affiliations, and preferences, of course.
Thank you for listening, and thank you for all your inspirational stories. Many Blessings and Wishes toward achieving Optimum Health to all of you!
Earl, thank you for starting this site, I am most grateful, I am so glad you are doing so well!
You certainly have been through a lot! And I am so pleased that you are getting it fixed next week. Just as well your boyfriend it observant!!!
The S&N Oxinium (a type of ceramic)- poly should be fine. I have a Zimmer ceramic on ceramic which is working well.
Anything but metal on metal seems to be much better.
I hope it all goes well – you will be surprised how much better you feel after the operation!
I found the recovery much easier than the initial one!
Camille Petrillo said:
Thank you for your vote of confidence! And for endorsing the oxinium product. My beau has done quite an amount of research today, and was very worried about the integrity of the ceramic coated head, should the hip dislocate–good chances for damaging the smooth head. But, we are never going to have any dislocations, so, that’s that! He had other issues of concern. I have my expert researcher doing all the work, as I prepare for surgery, and read other patients’ histories and pathways to revisions. It helps so much, so I wholeheartedly thank you for starting this site. For the RIGHT reasons. I’ll keep you posted on my recovery. I am very glad you are doing so well!
Pamela drew said:
I have also had hip researfacing in birmingham england,i have also had dreadfull problems such as burning rashes like sunburn ,all over body pain numbness and tingling in hands,chronic stomach pain and bleeding,total body and scalp hair loss ,sickness and nausia, vision disturbance and many others,i have been suffering this for 8 years now,dont know if there will be class action for hips like depuy? My surgean continues to deny its my hip.so who knows?
Karryn McNamara said:
I wish to add my voice to your cause. 2007 I had my right THR, 2008 my left THR. Smith & Nephew, the whole kit & caboodle. My stems are loose, showing fluid around the joints, but there is no fluid….I have had chronic problems from the first week of each surgery, long history, am on lots of pain meds, and a long waiting list. I was pushed off to public hospitals once the surgeon realised mine weren’t De Puy, and was meant to have had my right side removed and replaced by the beginning of this year, but due to ’emergencies’ the list has been pushed back and they do not foresee me getting any surgery at all during 2012. I want to start a class action.
Lee Glasson said:
I am 12 weeks post-op today (July 27 2012), following revision surgery of a BHR I received in Dec 2003, at the age of 47. I was advised to go this route as I was young and reasonably active, and the resurfacing would allow for bone stock to remain for the inevitable full replacement down the track. Hmmm.
Since that time I have been getting progressively unwell, with flu-like symptoms, bursitis, inflammation (my fingers look like cocktail franks), failing eye-sight, bladder infections, fluid on both knees and degeneration of the cartilage (4 arthroscopies), mental and physical fatigue, breathlessness, painful incontinence and ‘women’s problems’ that led to a full hysterectomy in Sept 2009, and increasing pain around the effected hip, sometimes popped, seized up or squeaked.
I understand when others on this blog talk about their frustration at not being heard. The doctors I have seen about these various issues do all the usual tests, and then shake their heads and look at me sideways when they can find nothing in the results to explain my symptoms.
Having read about the DuPuy recall and the issue with metal decomposition, I asked my GP to test for Chromium and Cobalt last December. The results showed a Chromium level of 423 nmol/L and Cobalt of 830 nmol/L. A subsequent MRI showed a large pseudo-tumour wrapped around what was left of the femoral neck, and a basically dead bursa. My original surgeon suggested a revision asap, and on the whole has been co-operative.
However, he seems to have adopted the line that the hip didn’t fail because it hadn’t moved or misaligned, and when he removed it it popped out without any great need to hammer away at it (hip surgery is a brutal exercise).
My concern with this attitude, which seems to prevail amongst the medical fraternity, is that it mitigates against the device being recalled. What they should be doing is supporting their patients to instigate a class action against Smith and Nephew who have clearly developed and foisted upon an unsuspecting public, a device that has indeed failed. For it to disintegrate within our bodies, depositing carcinogenic metals that slowly poison us, is a very clear failure.
Then again, maybe they are, but I haven’t heard about it. Has anyone else? especially in Australia?
The last 12 weeks have been a long, slow and painful recovery (and I thought laying on my back for 6 weeks was going to be the biggest nuisance!!) I am still hobbling around on a walking stick, and in great pain (8/10); from the op – in the groin and buttock area, which radiates down the thigh and up into my lower back; and co-incidentally – the rest of my body is aching from hobbling around on a walking stick! In my more optimistic moments I had held out some hope that the symptoms I’d experienced would just go away, once the offending implant was out, but no such luck (apart from the painful incontinence, which is a good thing because I’m still hobbling around on a ^%$@*&^ walking stick!).
I am waiting on the results of yet another blood test to see how well my body is flushing the Co and Cr, and I’m having my 12 week post-op appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday, where I’ll be putting to him my reasons for thinking the BHR failed. As in EPIC FAILURE.
Anyway, that’s my story. Any news that anyone has about the likelihood of the BHR being recalled would be good to hear. Good luck to anyone else in the same invidious position; you have my sympathy/empathy and support.
timothy jefferies said:
I was 33 when i had my first hip it was a smith and nephew mom 12 to 16 weeks after i felt a tear in short rotators and my . MY leg be came lame I had a limp i called to my every 2to3 weeks i had all sings of mom poisoning . I must have call to the H.S.E 10 to 15 times but got on were.i called to the of hospital in 2010 and he got to see a surgeon how done mri and blood my bloods were 87nmo/l ao and 78 nmo/l cr test blood was from arm . i had a revision in 10 2011 thay left the smith and nephew stem in and 60mm r3 shell and 36mm smith and nephew ceramic liner and then a depuy boilox detlta articul/eze ceramic femoral head . i have seeing my surgeon 3 times and have had on blood test are mri scan . my left hip has avn and i have a bad back as well . my surgeon wants me to wate as long i can iam know 43 i am
Good grief. S&N have a lot to answer for but they will no doubt say that you are part of the acceptable failure rate, like I was. Cold comfort. I hope you get some relief soon.
timothy jefferies said:
Is it ok to use smith and nephew and depuy in the same operation
It does seem a little unusual on the face of it but as I understand it, one French company makes all the ceramics or the various manufacturers. So they may well be interchangeable?
It does seem strange but as I understand it one French company makes all the ceramics for all the companies and so they may be interchangeable?
The good thing is you have ceramic on ceramic like I do. From my own experience this is good.
My husband had both hips removed last year after having awful reactions and very high levels of metal. He had a hard time for a month at a time after each surgery, but then after 5 months of no reactions started getting the reactions again. Not only that, but when her went to his yearly appointment, his Chromium levels had gone up again. Are you finding this to be the case with anyone you have heard from? I don’t know where to turn or what to do.
sorry to hear about these problems – I have heard some similar things but not regularly.
I will ask Dr Steve for his views.
Hi Earl I am haveing problems finding a doctor to look at my file and give a report over Smith & Nephew in the uk are ireland .Do you know fo any doctory how would stand in court for me v Smith & Nephew
I had a BHR in 2004 and from the time it was put in I have had problems. Severe burning where the hip is and chronic pain. numbness at times down my leg and lower back pain. I was unablae to sit for any length of time for a few years. I spend time going back to the surgeon, having scans physio pain killers etc without any answers. I had the procedure done in Australia and after spenidng a fortune and many years trying to get answers I just thought I would have to live with it. After reading soem of your thoughts I have now booked in to see another surgeon. i will keep you posted.
I think the second opinion is well worthwhile. Have you had your local doc arrange for testing to get the Co and Cr ion levels in your blood?
I need your voice until ok for me to speak Folks must know S&N attitude: They say they will never compensate Patients hurt by bhr, That it is safe and still use it as statistically it is the best mom device Their stats come from them, Maude in US says different The failure rates well exceed their 1% failur rate It Maude represents only 5-10 % Failure rates then S&N is full of Crap I’m of the opinion same is true in AU, NZ, UK as well R we just going to sit on our butts and say ok Attorneys don’t want to take on Congress or FDA even though they approved this device which was base on BS data Big bucks or protect the very same people that voted politicians into office No one seems to remind these patients they voted these politicians into office to protect US not the bicker amongst Themselves as to getting re-elected At the expense of those of us who have had the quality of their lives stolen frm S&N Reminder folks a top CEO of S&N In an inter view refer to the drop in their Mom hip sales as a mere gust of wind that slowed their sales hips And in time this will blow over After all market share and rate of return to their investors is what is important Not the well being and ensuring of the quality of life Are we going to sit in our butts and accept this or band together and fight for our inailiable rights as human beings If so we might as well rob banks and say that’s ok, We didn’t win our independence getting kicked around and constitutional rights by getting punched around So why are we not standing up for Our rights? Thanks earl How
Sent from my iPhone
Thankyou for the response
Yes I am having a blood test more Xrays and a CT scan next week.
Have you had any other posts from people in Australia? It is interesting that Australias equivalent to FDA approved the S & N BHS in 2004 yet FDA had not approved it until 2006.
Great – I have had lots of people from Australia but I have not kept a list.