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My View:

This story illustrates the need for a second opinion – something which is easier said than done at times.

Lynne’s Story:

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.

My Response

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.